Sunday, February 12, 2012

SIN and the sign

Hi everyone,
     The first time that I saw this sign several weeks ago, it just really spoke to me!!  Over the course of this past week I have just felt a burning desire to use it as a back drop for one of my postings, but it really was not until today that the words really resonated in my soul.  What, you may ask, she is writing about sin and has a huge sign as the back drop…isn’t that kind of risky???!!!

 Well, if we want to all take a minute to honestly think about it, isn’t sin what we think that the other people do…not us???!!!  Oh, sure we are taught in church that we all sin, but come on, that was really written for the other people, not me…I’m not breaking the 10 commandments or anything, so I’m doing great…aren‘t I???!!! 
     Sometimes I think that we forget that the bible tells us that we ALL sin.  Sin is not just when we break one of the 10 commandments, it is when we do ANYTHING that is not pleasing to God.  For example, taking things that we have not asked for, no matter how small that may be, is still sin.  This isn’t just something that a child does on the way past a checkout stand.  If we are praying to God for a miracle, but have sin in our hearts, He expects us to confess that sin and turn from it, not jokingly brush it off. 
     Think about it this way.  If one of our children was coming home on a bus and had an “F” on a paper, but knew if he/she had made an “A” you were going to buy him/her a new Xbox, and that child took out a pen and changed the “F” to and “A”, so proud that it looked real…mom will never know; wouldn’t we as parents be able to see the handy work of our little artist?  So would we take them at their word and just head out to the store to buy the Xbox, after all, the paper did have an “A’ on it OR would we call the teacher to verify the grade and then confront the child??? 

     God is not going to honor our prayers if we change our “F”s to “A”s.  This doesn’t mean we need to tell the world necessarily, but it does mean that we need to have some one-on-one time with God. 
     For if we do and we are honest, He will tell us within the depths of our heart what is right or wrong.  I also realize that sometimes if we are really busy it is easy to not have the time to slow down or maybe it is that we just don’t want to be still long enough to hear what He has to say to us.  After all, haven’t we all done this with our earthly parents???  Sure we know they are right, deep down in the depths of our heart, but if we just stay in constant motion and avoid them, we don’t have to hear “I told you so.”  For me personally, God doesn’t shout “I told you so,” but rather guides me in a warm yet firm manner of conviction within my soul.  What I have had to learn the hard way is that yes, sometimes God may send us into people’s lives as prayer partners, but unless people get guidance from God, people really will not listen.   I cannot save the world, but Jesus died to save me and so I have to just pray that those who enter my life or cross my path might also see the Lord as our GREAT counselor and Healer.  I look forward to His guidance because it is by His guidance that my faith grows.

     This sign also made me ask the question, do we let the sin of others stop us from witnessing to them?  Have people just dismissed WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) as using letters to create crafts at Vacation Bible School???  Jesus did not say “oh, sorry, you can’t sit down and visit with me because your sin, well it is far worse than this lady right here.  Sorry, you need to just move on.”  Aren’t we suppose to witness to the lost?  I don’t see where it is written that “lost” people come in degrees. 

     While I have prayed and worked to put my thoughts into words, I kept going back to John 11: 35, “Jesus wept.” As I have sat here this morning, putting my thoughts into words, I have wept like a small child.  How many people are left alone, not knowing the love of our Lord, all because someone thought that the person’s sin was too great to take the time to share.  How many people are missing out on miracles, all because they don’t want to stop and listen to what the Lord is telling them. 

     If these things break my heart and bring me to tears, I cannot even begin to imagine all of the tears that He sheds for each and every one of us daily.  What I do know is that God has given me a tender and passionate heart, so that I might use my words to bring glory to Him and let others see the warmth of sunshine He shines on my life through both good and bad times, so that they too may feel His warmth and love, no matter where they might find themselves at this very moment!! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reviving Romance

Hi everyone!
     Well it is that time of year, isn't it??!!!  With Valentine's just around the corner, romance is in the air.  I must say though, that just because I am single, this does not mean that I avoid the romance that is in the air like the plague.  There are plenty of situations where people are not single, but the romance left long ago.  It is so important to remember, whether you find that you are single or in a relationship, that before we can show love to another, we must first love our self and our own surrounding. :D  So look around, is it time to dust off that chandelier to set a tone that embodies love in your home?  

I encourage you to do this, not to impress anyone else but for YOU!!!  It is so important that you love your own little corner of the world!  How does the old saying go, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"???  Maybe it is time to take those candle sticks and instead of using them to hold toilet paper, you try replacing them with candles in your favorite scent.  Like I mentioned above, it is by taking the time to love yourself that those around you are also going to feel love...even without having to spend a fortune on boxes of Valentine's candy!! 

You'd be surprised how relaxing just a few small candles can make you feel at the end of a stressful day.  For the ultimate in relation, light quite a few candles and read by candle light.

So you have calmed down at the end of your day with a few candles and a GREAT book!!!  Next, as you strive to revive the romance within you, look to flowers.  There is one thing that my years of living in Europe taught me, and that is you do not have to wait for someone else to give you flowers.  Head to the nearest grocery store and treat yourself.  Like I mentioned a while back in one of my posts, take the time to smell the flowers. 

They can be used as decoration and for instant stress relief!!!  Buying yourself flowers is giving yourself permission to romance you and take time for you!!  So often in this fast paced world we tend to loose sight of ourselves. 

As women especially, it is very easy to put the needs of our families before our own.  So for this Valentine's the best gift you can give yourself is a week, a day, or a moment to revive the romance you feel for me, your whole world will soooo notice!!

So try it, revive the romance and love you feel for yourself and when you do, then something as simple as a sunset will totally take your breath away!!!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Joyous Momma

Hi everyone!

As my blog has chronicled, I wear many hats - mom, sister, Assistant Professor, computer consultant, blog creator, entrepreneur...

What I learned during 2011 though, is that sometimes we do have to slow down…and when we don’t the good Lord always has a way of helping us to do this. :D My loss and trials in 2011 have made me grasp every precious moment that I have with loved ones and also not let anything that warms my soul escape my attention.
 I came across a really neat post on Cottage Industry's blog last week called Random Things No. 41.  It is funny how those of us who find joy in creating things also find joy and beauty in so many simple things.  While my week has been jam-packed with things to do, I could not help but be drawn back to that blog post and her list of "the random items in life" that she is attracted to.  On this gloomy Groundhog Day, where more winter is predicted, but most of us would say that winter has never really arrived, it seemed that this task was just what my heart needed.


So I have put together my own list, but it is not just of things that I am attracted to, but also things that warm my heart and soul. There is no rhyme or reason to my list, as I have gone about my day when something comes to mind I’ve just written them down.

• Vintage Linens
• Galvanized containers of any kind – I LOVE my German bathtubs!!

• Old photos of family members.
• Hydrangeas

• Books, books, and more books!! I read them, decorate with them…they just warm my soul!!
• Sharing God Winks with all who will listen!!

• Scripture verses
• Fabric, fabric, and more fabric!!! I have to be able to see it and touch it though before I can buy any to bring home.

• Any of the antiques I brought back from Germany. These just warm my heart.
• Pictures of angels.

• Saying on photos or items, just WONDERFUL words of wisdom.
• Any magazine published by Stampington – the quality of the paper that these are printed on is just AMAZING and warms my heart!!

• Looking out onto my land. My little wooded corner of the world brings me peace.
• Old keys
• Teddy bears because it does not matter how old we get, a bear can help us withstand the worries of the world.
• Quilts

• “Streams in the Desert” devotion book!!
• My sleeping kids, because aren’t all of our kids angels when they are asleep???!!!

So as this momma bear heads off to move more mountains, let me encourage you to take a brief break in your day and think of the things in your life that make you smile and bring you sunshine on an overcast Groundhog Day!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Patience + Perseverance + Prayer

Hi everyone!
The educator in me could not help but think of this word equation this morning.

Patience + Perseverance + Prayer = Phenomenal Progress

On Tuesdays and Thursdays those of use that are participating in Weight Watchers here in town tend to all check in with each other. As I continue on this journey toward optimal health, I find that each week there is more and more that seems to surface for me. For example, to me “Phenomenal Progress” does not just mean a big weight loss number on the scale each week – “Phenomenal Progress” can be something as small as realizing what people or events may trigger the desire to make poor food choices. Even if my number on the scale is minimal or I maintain, but I have made some type of progress in terms of my approach toward this journey, then that is progress!!! Yes, it might not seem Phenomenal to others but for me, it might mean I have moved a HUGE mountain on my quest to level this whole ridge line. :D

Patience + Perseverance are not just the equation for weight loss; this is one math problem that will stay with us forever and fit into ANY of life’s situations. I am not just out to become a “lean, mean, beauty queen”, I also want to be a published author and successful entrepreneur, who has all areas of her life healthy and organized. So for me it is with lots and lots of patience and unwavering perseverance that I find my drive.

Am I perfect? No. Do I get tired? Yes – going from 5:00 am to 11:00 pm can get draining after a while. Do I believe in what I am doing? Yes – and not only do I believe in these things, I have an unquenchable passion for the projects that I have undertaken!!

I also know that the MOST important variable in this entire equation is Prayer!! For it is the Prayer that serves as my GPS keeping me on the right path; Patience and Perseverance are like my flashlight and map to make sure that I don’t lose the way or veer off that path. Without having Prayer in the equation, Phenomenal Progress would never be the end result, because something would always be missing.

So just remember, it does not matter where you may find yourself or what you need to accomplish, if you will trust this educator and commit this equation to heart, you will always end up a winner!!


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