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Reliance, Rapture. Gloomy Thoughts and Patience

hen and chicksApril 9, 2018 – Reliance

From the time we are born until the time we die, we learn to rely on certain things and people in our lives. As children, we rely on our parents to provide a roof over our head, feed and cloth us and teach us right from wrong. We rely on our teachers to fill our heads with the knowledge we need to survive out in the world.

When we are grown we learn to rely on our jobs to provide enough income to live on, we learn to rely on our family to be there in times of trouble, and we learn to rely on our spouses to always be by our sides, loving us, caring for us, supporting us.

But all of this reliance we take for granted is temporary. Some parents don’t provide for their children the necessities that children need to grow into mature, respectful and faithful adults. Some get so involved in what they want or what they are doing that they rely (there’s that word again) on the school, the church, baby-sitters and electronic devices to give their children what they need.

Jobs can be lost, spouses separate, schools only have so much leeway in teaching our children, and electronic babysitters? The electronic babysitters teach our children about violence, about infidelity, about immorality and children exposed to them from an early age do not learn to think for themselves.

They don’t learn to use their imagination and certainly don’t learn any morals. They end up “following” the crowd because that is the only place they feel they fit in. They don’t develop into caring, respectful, reliable adults. They grow up looking for someone to lead them and usually pick the wrong person to model themselves after.

There is only one in this world that you can totally rely on. That one is Jesus. If we rely on him and not ourselves, others or worldly gains and conveniences, we will never be let down. He is and will always be there for us. When people make promises today, not many mean them and feel it is no big deal to break them. Jesus, on the other hand, made promises that he keeps. Today I am thankful that I have learned to rely on him.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold

heavensApril 10 – Rapture

Some day the Rapture will come. Although there are three main thoughts on this: that the rapture will come before the tribulation, that the rapture will come midway through the tribulation and that the rapture will come just before his glorious appearing, I hope for the first belief, that it will come before the tribulation.

The bible clearly states that at some point, Jesus will return and rapture his church away, after which there will be a seven year period of tribulation for those left on the earth. During that seven years there will be much pain and anguish. Many will turn to Jesus, but they will suffer for not believing before the rapture.

There are some people who believe we are in the tribulation now, that it is just starting, yet the bible clearly tells you that there are certain things that must happen first, although with everything happening in the world today, we may be closer to the rapture than we realize. If you have read your bible, you can clearly see that much of what is happening in the world today was predicted.

Today I am thankful I am a Christian and that I will be in the Rapture, whenever Christ comes back for his people.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

sad-smileyApril 11 – Gloomy Thoughts

While I would like to claim that I am always a cheery person, it isn’t the truth. Like everyone else, I often harbor gloomy thoughts. Much of it depends on my illnesses, whether I had a decent nights sleep or tossed and turned all night, and a lot of it depends on the weather, because gloomy weather causes problems with the two forms of arthritis I have and my migraine headaches.

While I try to always show a cheery side when others see me, it is not always easy to do. Life isn’t always easy. It wasn’t meant to be. I do know that if I can cheer someone else up, it usually cheers me up as well, so I always try not to complain to others.

I know a lot of people that deal with invisible diseases like I do. For the most part, most of them try to hide their pain, the uncomfortable side effects of the diseases and medicines they take for them, but there are some who don’t even attempt to hide how they are feeling, because they haven’t learned the benefits that positive thinking has and for some, they are in so much pain that they don’t have the will power to think positive.

I don’t like to read gloomy posts on social media but I do for two specific reasons. I want to pray for those who are having problems and it also helps me to look at my illnesses and problems in a different light. When I realize what some people are going through, my problems don’t look as big as they did before.

Today I am thankful that the Lord shows me ways to expel these gloomy thoughts.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

turtle speed limitApril 12 – Patience

I had a young lady tell me that when I became a Christian, I did a 360 degree turn around in my attitude and habits. I had my sister tell me once that she thought I had the patience of a saint. But in truth, I may not be as patient as most people think.

There are things that could irritate me. There are things that could make me angry, but over the years the Lord has shown me that most of these things are minor, that they really aren’t worth getting worked up over. He has also shown me how to see things from different angles.

For instance, what sense does it make to get upset or angry over something that is no ones fault. What sense does it do to feel put out over something that no one but God has control over. My sister has a saying she has used for many years “it is what it is” and the idea is that you just accept whatever is going on, if you have a solution, use it, if you don’t accept that you don’t and get on with the other things in your life.

Life throws a lot of inconveniences at us and it is the attitude you take in dealing with them that make all the difference in your world. When something happens that could irritate, could make me angry or inconvenienced, I hear that still small voice from the Holy Spirit saying “have patience, this is not worth getting upset over” and then I remember sis’s favorite saying “it is what it is”

Today I am thankful that Lord has shown me how to have patience through everything.

Psalm 37: 7-9 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

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Reminders, Stress Relief and Plans

rainbowApril 6, 2018 – Reminders

Our minds are incredible organs. We can focus on one thought or we can have different thoughts reaching out in different directions. One though may have many extensions to it or it can lead to another thought which will trigger other thoughts.

Our memories are the same way. Sometimes one will get caught in a cycle that leads to other memories which eventually lead back to the original memory. Our memories are a bank of experiences, people and places. If you tried to put all of our thoughts and memories into a computer bank, you would probably have to have several main frames and the information would be never ending because we are always thinking, always making new memories.

Satan likes to use our emotions, our past, our mistakes, our sorrow and our memories to attack us. Even though I know that I am forgiven for all my past sins, and even though I ask the lord to show me my current sins so I can repent, there are times that memories come flooding back of the person I used to be.

God gives us reminders by using our thoughts and memories. It might be an odor, a place, a person or a sound that is used as the trigger that propels us into those memories of the past, but the way you look at them when they are brought to the front makes the difference on whether you allow them to tear you down or build you up. I look at these memories as reminders from God of where he brought me from. Today I am thankful for those reminders for it shows me how much he loves me and how truly blessed I am.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other as Christ forgave you

older woman prayingApril 7, 2018 – Stress Relief

Everyone experiences periods of stress, even little children. Sometimes those periods of stress are brought on by events or people around us, but many times we bring the stress on ourselves. We are worry-warts and tend to look at things in a perspective that builds them out of proportion.

Something small can become something huge if we allow it to cause us undue worry or fear. I know this from past experiences. I used to spend many sleepless nights tossing and turning because of worrisome problems. I was always stressed out over everyone’s problems, not just my own. I always felt like I was supposed to solve their problems, find solutions for them.

At some point in my life, God started showing me how to relieve my stress. He started by pointing out to me that not everyone should be looking to me to solve their problems. He started showing me just exactly how I was becoming an enabler. How I was allowing people to take advantage of me when I thought I was helping when, in fact, I was keeping them from growing and learning how to take care of their own problems.

He moved me to this small, rural town and showed me the beauty of the nature surrounding it. He sent birds and squirrels to my back yard to lift my spirits and he put many friends and extended family members in my life. When I get stressed I just have to take a look back at what he has done for me, of how blessed I am, and the prayers he has answered and my stress over any given situation is relieved. Today I am thankful for stress relief through my lord and savior, Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 11:28 Come to me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest

Hands holding the worldApril 8, 2018 – Plans

There are times when I ponder the past and it just baffles me how I could have gone so long without believing, without looking to the Lord. I was led to believe that I was saved in the fourth grade because I went to the altar, crying, because everyone else was emotional, during a revival, when in fact, I don’t remember praying to him at that time, I just followed the crowd.

In 1992 I was invited to a children’s Christmas program at a church. After I attended there, I felt drawn to start looking for a church to attend. I found that I could ride the church bus, it was for anyone to attend, not just the children. In February 1993, when I again went to the altar, this time, I knew why I was there and accepted Jesus as my savior.

As the years have gone by, as I look back and see what he has done for me, done for others, it amazes me that I could go so long in unbelief. It totally astounds me that he even let me survive until that night I went to the altar and accepted him.

As I have read his word, as I have walked and talked with him, I have learned that he has a plan for everyone. In the bible, in several instances like with Moses and Jonah and even Paul, he allowed them to know what his plan for them was.

He doesn’t always tell you what his plan for you is, and many people question why they are here, but he does have a plan for everyone. Some become preachers, some become teachers and some become healers and still some are in the background in the role of servant.

He can use a person to be an example, he can use a person to say the right thing at the right time to the right person, he can use a person to complete some small task that will inspire another or others to complete some giant tasks. He doesn’t always tell you what his plan is, be he has one for everyone. Today I am thankful, even if I don’t know what it is, that he has plans for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 “for I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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Little Prayers, Little Blessings, Inspiration, and Seasons

oldman prayingApril 2, 2018 – Little Prayers

I pray a lot. I pray in the morning. I pray over my meals. I pray at bedtime and I pray when I see on my social media that someone is requesting prayers. Some days as I go about trying to get chores done, doing some research and trying to work on projects, it seems like I am constantly sending up those little prayers.

In the last few days, immediate answers were sent to some of these little prayers. You see, the lord doesn’t care if you are uttering a long drawn out, explicit prayer or just a shout out to him for an immediate answer. All he cares about is that we believe in him and depend on him.

My memory is not as good as it once was. I haven’t been diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s. From the research I have done, it is related to different stresses and getting older. I can walk into a room looking for something, but because my mind is going in twenty directions at one time, I can’t remember why I went in there.

It is not unusual for me to carry something through the house and forget where I laid it down, not because I am feeble minded, but because I wasn’t focus on what I laid down, my mind was moving on to other things. Just the other day I went out and started the car and locked the doors. I have extra keys, but one was in the ignition and the other, I assumed was in my purse……in the locked car.

I almost panicked when I didn’t see Rich’s shoulder bag either, because he keeps an extra set on there also. But I stopped for a minute and thought about it. Lately I have been carrying the extra set with me so they wouldn’t get locked in the car. I said a little prayer, walked to the kitchen, and there they were on the table by the back window, not a normal place where I would have laid them down.

Today I am thankful for the immediate answers to small prayers.

cardinalsApril 3, 2018 – Little Blessings

Sometimes it is the little blessings that seem to count the most. It is the ones we don’t pray for, but the Lord sends them down to us anyway because he loves us and knows everything we might be going through. He knows that sometimes we just need a little boost, a little bit of joy or happiness interjected into our day.

He knows us inside and out because he created us. He knows our pain, our guilt, or concerns and our worries. He knows what inspires us, what lifts our spirits, what makes our day brighter and he often uses different elements from his own creations to do just that.

Maybe you’ve been going through a gloomy period in your life and just need a little extra sunshine, or maybe you just need to be reminded of the blessings you already enjoy and the prayers that have already been answered.

I love nature and it is through nature that the Lord has cheered me up, reminded me that he is still in control. There are days I will feel down, but I walk out on the back deck and there will be a Cardinal sitting in the tree singing at me, or a Dove feeding just feet away from me on the seed I put out earlier.

Often, there will be a squirrel on the kitchen roof, just chattering away and looking over the edge at me or maybe he will be sitting on the garage or back fence and stops what he is doing to look at me as if to say “good morning, your day is going to get better”. Just the fact that these animals, although they won’t come too close, will sit and listen to me talking to them, gives me a lift that I badly needed. Today I am thankful for the small, surprise blessings the lord sends me.

jesus doorApril 4, 2018 – Inspiration

When I was writing articles for other sites, I was just a beginner. Some of them have rules like not writing in the first person or attaching websites where you got your information from. For the most part, I thought these were really boring articles, but I was getting paid to write them.

The OCD part of me, the perfectionist part of me always wants to go the extremes to do something the best that I can. I am very detail oriented, in fact sometimes so much that people shy away in the middle of conversations with me.

Wanting to write the best that I can, I started reading articles on how to write good articles, how to put together a book and where to find your inspiration. For the most part, what I read really did not help me in my writing except for the part that said to focus on what inspires you.

What inspires me? Jesus, the Holy Spirit, God, the Bible, nature and Love are my inspirations. When I think about my past life, before accepting Jesus, I see how very dark it was. I was deep in depression, I was dwelling on the abuse I had been through, the way people had used me, and the things that I, myself allowed myself to get involved in.

When I gave my life to Jesus, it was like the clouds rolled away forever. The darkness that hovered over me like a thick blanket suddenly disappeared and sunshine came into my life. When I think about how he died for us, how we can be forgiven and when I read the bible, I am inspired more than I have ever been in my life.

Today I am thankful that my inspirations come from the one who gave his life for us.

the four seasonsApril 5, 2018 – Seasons

Ah, yes, I’ve talked about seasons and levels before. In fact I have repeated several subjects in my writing, but each time I find something new to write about on the same subjects. Sometimes it is like the Lord is whispering in my ear, telling me that someone needs to hear the words he gives me.

While we are raised to believe there are only four seasons in the world, Summer, Winter, Fall and Spring, we definitely have season we go through in our lives, and I believe that there are a whole lot more than four, they just don’t have names because there are too many of them.

I can imagine that just about everyone I know has gone through the seasons several times in their lives. They have experienced several falls, when certain things seem to slow down or are getting close to falling away, and then the Winter comes and it is cold and gray. Spring comes later down the road when the grayness turns to bright sunshine and new things start to develop in our life, and Summer, when everything is bright and sunny and we enjoy the blessings that come at the end of the other three season.

I’ve been through all the seasons, over and over again, but I have noticed that I always learn something from going through them again. As each one shows itself, it gets easier to handle because I already know what comes next. It is the attitude, the spirit in which we work through the less liked seasons that will actually help us through. If we stand strong, trust the Lord and use the knowledge we have gained, then those gray seasons seem to be a whole lot shorter that they used to be. Today I am thankful for the Lord teaching me through the seasons.

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Catching Up

doggieI know that I am way behind, but I do have a legitimate excuse. I don’t want any of my followers thinking I have given up. My laptop bit the dust a few weeks ago. I dug out an old E-machine (I think it was 13 years old) and was trying to use it until I could get another laptop or PC.

Using it was very frustrating as it froze up all the time, not just when on the internet, but when I was trying to write also. I actually had to finally give up on posting the recent three articles until the new (slightly used) PC got here, which it did yesterday. If the E-machine had moved in slower, it would have been moving backwards.

Anyway, it will take a little while to catch up so bear with me. I have no intention of giving up on sharing the things I am thankful for and some of the inspirations I believe I receive from the Lord. If what I write helps one person, brightens one person outlook or day, then it is worth every effort. In the meantime, here is a cute little doggie.

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Heartaches, Staying in Touch, and He is Risen

heartsMarch 30, 2018 – Heartaches

I can’t think of one person I know who hasn’t suffered from some form of heartaches. Some heartaches are worse than others. The loss of a job you loved is different from the heartache of losing a close friendship. Watching someone you care about go through some tough emotional times is a different kind of heartache than watching someone you care about go through a terrible illness.

The loss of a pet is a different heartache than the loss of your wallet or Id, but I think the worse heartache is the loss of someone you love. The loss of a child is also different from the loss of a spouse, and both are different from the loss of a parent or sibling.

Sometimes people who haven’t suffered the same heartaches that you have don’t quite understand what you are going through. They can’t feel what you feel, and they can’t see it through your eyes. Those people may often seem cruel when they don’t understand the length of grief, but there are some heartaches that never heal.

I’ve had my share of heartaches over the years. I have lost so many people that I loved. My father, my mother, two of my sisters, a stepfather, a husband and my son are just a few, and each heartache has hurt just as much as the others, often in different ways, and these are some of the heartaches that never completely go away.

But I have someone who helps me with these. His name is Jesus and he is always by my side, whispering in my ear that he will always be there, never leave me and will hold me up with his strength and love. He has sent so many that have been through the same heartaches that I have, that I no longer feel alone in them. Today I am thankful that I can take all my heartaches to him.

loveMarch 31. 2018 – Staying in Touch

My family was never one of those that stayed in touch much. I don’t ever remember meeting my aunt Joan, only met my aunt Carol twice when I was very young, met my fathers parents once when they visited us in Chicago, and was too young the last time I met my mom’s parents to even remember anything about them.

Proof of this was even more obvious when we were sent to the foster homes after my mother had her nervous breakdown. No one attempted to contact us or find out what happened with my mother or her children. In fact, I knew more about the relatives of my foster homes than I did of my own.

When I got married to the wrong person a few months after graduation, it seems that family just dispersed. My step-dad, mother, younger sisters and brother moved to Mexico, and my older sister, a year or so later moved to Texas.

As I moved around a lot when I was a young single mother, they often didn’t have an address to write to me at, and through unfortunate circumstances, I no longer had theirs. We connected a few times over the years though and wrote a few letters back and forth. The last letter I got from my mom was on a Friday, telling me she was going in for cancer surgery on Monday, but she died Sunday night from an accidental overdose of her pain medications and they assumed she didn’t take her asthma medications.

My sisters and I lost track of each other again for many years. I finally reconnected with my younger sister after about 18 years, but even though I finally connected with my older sister, it was a total of 33 years before I actually saw her again.

Sadly, I have lost too many over the years, my father to suicide when I was 5, my mother as mentioned above, my little sister Francie was murdered, my son died of an overdose, my step-dad and older sister passed away because of pneumonia. I know someday I will see them all again.

Since I have become a Christian, I have learned how important it is to stay connected with friends and family and through all the technical advances we have, I can easily talk to all of them, well those who want to be in contact a few times a week. Today I am thankful that God found a way to reconnect me with those I love.

EasterApril 1, 2018 – He is Risen

He suffered for our sins. He was beaten, he was abused, he was spit on, he was hated, he was wrongly accused and he was crucified. His message was one of obedience, forgiveness and love, with love being the one that he always talked about. He came as the final sacrifice for our sins, as an intermediary between us and the father so we could be forgiven and not suffer the consequences of Gods anger against our disobedience.

I don’t know about any of the other mothers out there, but knowing myself, the way that I do, the way that he knows me too, if I had been asked to sacrifice my son to save the world, I would probably look for other ways to save the world. Us mothers have a built in defense mechanism that makes us want to, always, protect our young, no matter how much trouble they might get into and no matter how old they are, so I know I would have protested giving my son as a final sacrifice.

But God did it. In fact he ordered it to be thus. His only begotten son, who he loved beyond any understanding of love was chosen by the father to be the final sacrifice for the sins of mankind. How it must have broken his heart to see his son, in human form, suffer all that he did before he returned to the father, but the good news is “He is Risen”

He went through all the emotions of man, the cruelty of man. He felt love, as he still does, but he also felt temptation, when Satan tempted him in the desert, and he felt anger with the money changers in his fathers house. He felt loss when he heard of the death of John and he felt love, unrelenting love for his disciples and all those around him.

He did what no man could do. He was in the grave three days and then arose and went on to see several of those who loved him most, to show them the truth of what he had preached and admonish them to continue the good work. If he hadn’t died so we could be forgiven an make it to heaven, then what would life be worth? Today I am thankful that he is “Risen”

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Doubt and Confusion, This Small Town, and Staying in Touch

question markMarch 27, 2018 – Doubt and Confusion

Doubt and confusion often go hand in hand. The simple definition of doubt is : to be uncertain and the simple definition of confusion is a situation in which people or and individual are uncertain about what to do or are unable to understand something clearly.

Just about everyone goes through periods of doubt and/or confusion. For some it is a lifelong condition called low self esteem. People with low self esteem tend to doubt that they can do anything or amount to anything. Many people like this have become this way because of the actions of another or group of people.

Many children become individuals who suffer from self esteem because they had parents teachers and bullies who told them constantly that they were “stupid, dumb, would never be able to do anything right”. I still suffer, somewhat from low self esteem because of the individual who abused me for 20 years.

Some people become doubtful or confused when there is a big decision to be made or they are getting a lot of negative input about the decision they have made.

Thomas was a doubter and didn’t believe in the resurrection of Christ until he saw proof. Gideon wanted proof from God in having god soak a fleece with dew and leave the ground around dry to prove he was going to do what he told Gideon he would do. Sarah and Abraham both laughed when they were told that they were going to conceive a child in their old age.

Doubt and confusion is a tool that Satan often uses. He would like nothing better than to have people doubting themselves and God. He would like nothing better than encouraging people to be confused about Gods words, Jesus Divinity and Gods love for us. Today I am thankful that I don’t doubt my God and I am not confused about Jesus.

1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

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March 28, 2018 – This Small Town.

There are so many people in this little town that have become family to me. I’ve never had this anywhere else that I lived. In Cleveland, other than the people at church or work, I had no communications with neighbors. They mostly kept to themselves, involved in their own family, their own activities. I only saw my co-workers at work and the church members at church, but other than that, there wasn’t a whole lot of communication.

Sure, my brothers and sisters at church would hug me, pray for me if I needed it, but they also had their own concerns. I remember running into a few at the court house where I did my research at, and they would disappear quickly, before I could get through the metal detectors, and would not acknowledge that they even saw me.

People at the stores waited on me, and even though there were certain ones that I frequented quite often, they never had a kind word or even acknowledged that they had seen me before. Even when I lived in a small town in Vermont and a 55+ park in Florida, people stayed mostly to themselves.

After Ken passed away, many of the people at church shied away and no longer talked to me as they did when he was alive. I can only assume that they didn’t know what to say or I no longer fit in because they were all couples and I was now single.

But since I have moved to this small town, it doesn’t matter where I go, people talk to me. If I go in to pay my electric bill, the ladies at the counter don’t just take my money, they ask how I am doing, what I think about the weather, politics or something that happened in town. It’s the same at the post office and Walmart too. Everyone knows my name.

Just about every clerk, nurse, technician, doctor, cleaning people and the ladies that work in the cafeteria at the hospital know me by name and always stop to spend a few minutes chatting with me. Today I am thankful that the Lord saw fit to move me to this small town.

eyeMarch 29, 2018 – Staying in Touch

Before the internet, or unlimited long distance, and before speaker phones and cell phones, people stayed in touch by writing letters. Before social media sites, dating sites, or e-mail, people stayed in touch by writing letters. I stayed in touch with one of my foster sisters that way for many years after I left.

I lost touch with all my family members for many years. Part of them were in Arizona, some in Texas and mom and papa were in Mexico and then Colorado. While I used to write letters to them, my address book suddenly disappeared and since we moved around often, they couldn’t write to me any more either.

It was by chance, many years later, that my little sister remembered the place I worked at and called me there. We stayed in touch that way as often as we could, because I had no phone at home, and I didn’t want a certain individual to know I was back in touch with a relative.

It was a few months later that I was finally able to get out and head to where she lived. Several years later, I was also in touch with my older sister, my step father and my half brother and my half sister. My mother had already passed away while I was incommunicado with everyone.

I live close to my sis, but the times I get out to see her or she gets into town to see me is far and few between, but we stay in constant touch via phone and social media. Papa and big sis have passed on, but I make it a point to stay in touch with my little half brother as much as possible.

My son is gone, but we talked a few times a week when he was still alive, and the grand-kids live in Florida but seem to be too involved in their own lives to stay in touch with me, with the exception of the oldest. We talk on social media a couple times a week and if he has minutes, he will call. Today I am thankful the lord put me back in touch with so many, and I am thankful that he has shown me the importance of staying in touch.

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Happy Face, Forgiveness,and The Full Armor of God

laughterMarch 24, 2018 – Happy Face

It isn’t odd that we sometimes go to bed with the lyrics of a song going through our head and wake up the next morning with a different one playing in our thoughts. I’ve had this happen a few times. Sometimes I go to bed with a song in my head on purpose, especially if its been a really long and tedious day or there have been some major problems or set backs.

My favorite go to bed song is “What a mighty God we serve, what a might god we serve, angels bow before him, heaven and earth adore him, what a might god we serve.” I think this is my favorite because it reminds me just before I go to sleep that no matter what the day brought, God is still in control.

This morning I woke up with another song playing in my head, and while it isn’t a gospel song, it’s a cheery song “Gray skies are gonna clear up. Put on a happy face. Brush off the clouds and cheer up. Put on a happy face. Spread Sunshine all over the place. Put on a happy face.”

I think about how many times I have acted like everything was fine when things weren’t as good as I would have wished, and it always seems to make me feel better. I’ve been told many times in my life to smile because it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile, however that has not been scientifically proven.

But a smile always feels better. There is something about smiling during tough times that seems to make whatever you are going through less disastrous than you first thought. It won’t solve the problem, but it will help to lighten the load of carrying it, worrying about. Today I am thankful for the effects of putting on a Happy Face.

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

jesus doorMarch 25, 2018 – Forgiveness

Oh how hard it is for us humans to forgive. We tend to want to hold onto the memory of every bad thing that has ever happened and every person that has offended or hurt us in some way. The longer a unpleasant event happens or the more hurt and abuse a person inflicts on us, the harder it is for us to turn away.

Jesus told us that we needed to turn the other cheek, that we must love our enemies and forgive those who hurt or abuse us, because if we don’t, then we can’t expect the Father to forgive us. Sometimes when something small happens, we are able to easily turn the other cheek, we are able to easily forgive, especially if the person is a loved one or good friend. Forgiving those we count as enemies is often harder.

While I like to think I have forgiven everyone that has ever hurt me, there are times when what happened pops into my head and I wonder if I have truly forgiven them. It’s then that I ask the lord to tell me if I have totally forgiven them and if I haven’t to show me how to. Today I am thankful that I can be forgiven.

Matthew 6:15 – But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses

KnightMarch 26, 2018 – The Full Armor

If you are a Christian, you have heard many times from your Christian brothers and sisters that Satan is attacking them. He will use everything within his power to turn people away from Jesus. Temptation is one of the major tools he uses. Tempting us to take part in sinful and immoral acts. Temptation, itself is not a sin, but giving into it is.

He will use hate, lies, gossip, fear, pride, selfishness, un-forgiveness and even our words and thoughts against us. He is that little voice that says “this one time won’t hurt” or “ it’s OK to hate that person, look what they did to you”. He will use friends, loved ones, strangers and co-workers to temp us into saying, thinking or doing something we know is wrong. Many of them will not even realize they are being used.

Fear is another tool he uses quite frequently. The fear that something bad will happen. The fear that a we or a loved one will not be forgiven, will not be healed, will not go to heaven. He uses what we say, twists it around in the form of gossip or misrepresentation to cause arguments and hard feelings between us and others.

The bible says “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 1 Peter 5:8 “ It also says to Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

Satan will do anything he can to shake our faith in God and that’s why we must always put on the full armor of God : Ephesians 6: 14-18 14.Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15.and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16.in addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18.And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Today I am thankful for the full armor of God