Finding Balance

Some days it is hard, you don’t feel well; you don’t want to do it. Whatever it is you just don’t want to do it; not at that moment. But the request has been made. What do you do?

It really depends on the real reason that you don’t want to do it.

Are you really sick?  Is it a time factor? Is it that same person making the same request? Are you just tired of serving and never filling up your own cup?

Recently, I offered to do something for a charity that is important to me, then I got sick.

It is my fault I got sick.  I knew I was catching a cold. That sore throat tickling me.  But I was getting in so many steps, making myself stronger. When I stretched, I was stretching further than ever. What about that project sitting on your computer?  What about the taxes you started but they are not finished?

I could have put my “Get myself stronger”  I should have.

Balance is so hard.  It starts with paying attention to the cues your body gives you.

It is completed by listening to the Holy Spirit.

I even dragged my husband into it. I got him to cheer on my desire to take a walk even when I knew I shouldn’t.  That way I can blame him.  I didn’t want to do the paperwork. I didn’t want to do it.

The Holy Spirit was saying it is not the right time to take a walk.  There are more important things.

I didn’t listen. I caught that cold and it cost me some days productivity.

Dear Lord, While I play catch up, let me remember my limitations.  Let me listen to your voice. I am not able to serve God’s kingdom, to help others, to be a good servant; when I am sick, asleep.

Mark 9:35:  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

 

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When God says stop, He means it.

I have started feeling restless wanting things, God has told me to wait. I started complaining that I have never done anything fun, a boring life.  My husband started walking me down memory lane.

It turns out I have lived a rather exciting life.  It hasn’t seem that way over the last few years. As God was throwing bricks at me telling me to slow down.  I was over-involved.  You know the one who made a meal for every call to the church.

At the church every time the doors opened.

Giving kids rides everywhere and not just my own.

Working a regular job. 6 to 8 hours a day.  It was only supposed to be 4 but they asked me to handle extra things so of course I did.

Keeping the house clean and organized.

Then I got seriously sick- down for a month or more- 4 times.  

After the last time.  I quit everything and focused on writing and getting well. (May 2017)

I have lowered all my numbers.  There is still more to go.

Yet I find myself antsy to find a job, make some money.

I hear God saying I gave you the way to make money.

I want to start helping people.

God says help the ones I put into your path.

Maybe someday I will do exciting things, until then, I am striving to be content.

Content with where I am and what I am doing.

But I don’t want to get invovled

I used to think that it took a grand gesture to be involved. I had to be able to open a homeless shelter. I had to be able to pay for many school lunches.  I had to recognize every situation of domestic abuse. I had to free hundreds of people the sex trade. I decided not to be involved. And then I realized….

The kids say there is a girl at school, she is always hungry. They want to share food with her.

But I don’t want to get involved.

There is a widower next door, his kids live far away. He looks so thin and dirty.

But I don’t want to get involved.

The kids down the street, yeah they always dress in rags. I just sold my kids clothes.

But I don’t want to get involved.

This guy at work is terrified of working overtime.  He rarely speaks to anyone.

But I don’t want to get involved.

The other day at the grocery store, a woman with her 3 small children had to put back groceries. It was just the cake for her daughter’s birthday.

But I don’t want to get involved.

The guy walks down our street all the time.  He carries that backpack and bedroll.

But I don’t want to get involved.

The little hungry little girl, might cost you ten extra dollars a week.  But I am strapped. Perhaps you know someone else that can pay the extra money.

Guess what, you just got involved.

Maybe the widower next door, his wife bought all his clothes.  You could show him where she bought them. Maybe she did all the washing and cooking.  It only takes a few minutes.  Maybe other people in the neighborhood can help.

Guess what, you just got involved.

Those kids down the street, they are just a bit smaller than my kids. I can give my kid’s old clothes  to them.

Guess what, you just got involved.

The guy at work, His wife is sick.  Sure he could use the over time, but it doesn’t look good.  All he really needs is someone to share his burden.

Guess what, you just got involved.

The single mom at the grocery store, even if you can’t help her alone, maybe the person behind you can contribute.

Guess what, you just got involved.

The guy with the backpack and the bed roll. He lost his family, and just needs someone to tell him that he is not alone.

Guess what, you just got involved.

Sometimes I write to bring awareness. Sometimes God sends me someone to help. Sometimes I need help. It doesn’t require a huge gesture, but if God calls you to it, he will see you through it. Being involved means you don’t walk around in your own tiny bubble. It means that you see the world around you and help whenever, wherever you can. Sometimes help is just a kind word, telling someone who has worked hard on their hair that it looks great.

Living HOPE Unquenchable JOY

As I listen to the wind howl from this latest Nebraska storm, I think today is one of those days that I just want to stay in bed and cuddle up on my husband. It is Thursday so I can’t.

I look to the scriptures for some hope and joy; just to get me through the day.

Today might be one of those days when I have to keep looking at the app on my phone when I get a chance.

I might have to grab my lunch and warm up my car while listening to The message on my radio while I eat.

If I am one of those that can shut my office door and read the Bible, it would happen often today.

If the christian channel is on the radio at work, I might strain to hear the words and hum along today.

Today is a day to seek Jesus any way I can. Using whatever means available. Otherwise that wind would drive me mad.

1 Peter 1:3-9:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Living the Faith of Abraham

Amos 5:14-15, Galatians 3:7-14, Genesis 12:1-7, Romans 4:2-8:

As followers of Jesus, the savior, we have inherited the promises of Israel. Which also means that we should honor the word as it is taught in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament.

Yes there is forgiveness, but we should not willing sin.  There is a difference between accidental sin and purposeful sin.

I am a chronic worrier, I work daily to trust God, but daily I fail.  There is forgiveness.  You are probably wondering why there is forgiveness, I allow myself to worry even though I know God tells us to not worry (Matthew 6: 25-34).

The difference is I don’t start out thinking today, I don’t care what God says, I am going to worry.  As I start my day, and pray, one of the things I ask is God help me not to worry.  Then when I do worry , I focus on putting it out of my mind.

It doesn’t always work.  Take the other day, Instead of telling Google my specific destination, I told it to take me to the road that I knew would get me home.   It took us way out of our way.  Extra miles were traveled and we had to get turned around. The gps showed we had been traveling East.  So it took us to the highway heading East. The computer did not know that our intentions were to head back home -West. While we were heading East, and driving on roads that we had never driven, I freaked out.  Until my husband made me realize that Google was taking us back West. God isn’t Google, but God did give me the ability to tell the gps that we wanted to go West, not East.

God may not be Google but if we give our lives to Him, if we trust Him; He is our GPS. He will lead us to better things.

There is really one sin that is unforgiveable.  The Bible tells us that is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit- denouncing God.  Even if I decide that I am purposefully going to sin; there is forgiveness, as long as I am remorseful.  If I sin without remorse, then I have to wait for forgiveness until I am remorseful. It is always there waiting for me to ask.

We are not saved by our works, but the world sees us by what we do. If we are striving to live a Godly life, the world sees.  If we don’t judge people, the world sees. If we treat people the way we want to be treated the world responds.  Even before Jesus that is what Abraham understood.  If he follows God, trusts God (and he did even with the life of his only son, Genesis 22) then he things will be fine.

If I try and keep my eyes on Jesus, follow His path for me, and strive to trust Him; I am living as Abraham. I have SALVATION.

Amos:

14 Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you, just as you say he is. 15 Hate evil, love good; maintain justice in the courts. Perhaps the Lord God Almighty will have mercy on the remnant of Joseph

Galatians:

7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. 10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”    11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.”  12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”  13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”   14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Genesis:

 1The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. 5 He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. 6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Romans:

 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

4 Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. 5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:“Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”

 

 

 

HUMBLE: HOW DOES THAT LOOK?

Micah 6:8: He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

What does it mean to walk humbly? Does it mean that everyone else is right and you are wrong?  That you should back away from all conflict? No!!!

I used to think that by allowing everyone else to be right and just backing down, I was being humble. I was WRONG.

I LEARNED FROM A FEW VERY BAD EXPERIENCES THAT BEING A DOORMAT IS NOT GOD’S WILL.

Then of course I went TOO far the other direction, I had to be always right. I had to stand up for myself no matter what.

Finding the balance, the place where you are not allowing people to take advantage of you and the place where you aren’t alienating everyone by being demanding.

It takes listening to the Holy Spirit and allowing God to show you when it is important to step up and when it is okay to just let it go.  I find frequently praying helps.

A time when I will step up: if someone is clearly misrepresenting the Bible. It would be a bigger sin to allow someone to be misled.

What being humble really means is I acknowledge everything I do is through Christ.

Not my wisdom, but God’s.

Not because I am strong, but God gives me strength.

Not because I make enough money, but God provides.

Returning everything back to God does not mean that I don’t get any credit.  It is okay to say thank you when someone compliments you.

A bit of pride is okay, it feeds ambition. Ambition drives us to do more for God’s Kingdom.

The difference between feeling proud of an accomplishment and sounding our own horn is when we are proud of what we do but keep it to ourselves remembering that it was because of our God-given talents; we are still being humble. If we go around tooting our own horn we are expecting praise and this is pride.

If we receive praise say thanks, under the right circumstances we brag and say I was able to do it because God gave me the talent. I just took the talent he gave and used it.

 

Putting God First

1 John 2: 15-17, Titus 2:11-12: 

Don’t you ever wonder how you can be devoted to your earthly job and serve God at the same time.  Doesn’t God realize that I need my earthly job (my unethical earthly job) to survive? Doesn’t God get it that if I don’t give my job 110% that I will lose it and my family will starve?

A while ago, I worked as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant.  The previous manager had been let go because sales were down. He operated the shop extremely unethically.

The cooks would cook a bunch of food at the start of the shift and leave it in the warmer for four to six hours.  YUCK!!

I had to teach them to cook as the food was ordered.

This created strife and I had to explain my strategy to the manager.

The manager was hesitant they said that the food would not get out quick enough. They complained we would have a lot of waste. I asked him to give my way a chance.

I explained that for the most part people would not mind waiting if they received HOT food.  Who likes Cold fries?   But Hot ones?

I am not a fry person, but if they are hot, I might eat half a box. A fry person if they have time, might order an extra box.

After a couple of weeks there was a review and the sales had started to rise. As word got around that there was a NEW evening manager and the food tasted better sales rose and soon our restaurant was very busy.

What happened? I brought God into the equation. When we are being ethical in our work, we are honoring God. When we are honoring God, He will bless us.

John: 15Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. 16For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

Titus: 11For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age

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