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Slide to the Right

I trust my husband as a pilot. I put my life in his hands every time we fly. He has however, had me do a little emergency training of my own to be prepared for an unexpected emergency. I think any time we get into a plane we are putting our trust in a pilot that we do not even know. 
If we are willing to trust the hand of man/woman on the yoke of the plane as it soars through the sky, why is it so hard for people to trust God? For some reason it’s difficult for us to give up control and be the co-pilot. Truth be told, it’s okay to be the co-pilot.
Let go and let God be in charge. As the co-pilot you still need to train for the unexpected turbulence, emergency or change in your heading with prayer and study. No matter what, you can trust God in the pilot seat. Today I hope you will move to the right seat (the co-pilot seat) and give God the left seat so he can take control. When you slide over to the right seat you will be held in the arms of Jesus who is seated in a place of honor at the right side of His Father. So what are you waiting for? Slide to the right and have a blessed day.

 

 

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Coming soon “Simply Blessed” a 31 day devotional about finding joy in the little things.

 

 

 

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Don’t Wait for the Error Code

With any new appliance, car, boat, or computer, we are given an owner’s manual. Over the years this Midlife30950352_m Domestic Goddess has gotten a few error codes on her washing machine. Thankfully I can turn to the manual for help and troubleshoot the issue. God has given us a manual for life. It is the Bible. But unlike the owner’s manual for our appliances, we need to read the Bible before there is an error code.

Life can be very worrisome at times. When you have an understanding of the Bible, you will be able to recall the truth of God in a crisis much faster than you can figure out what the error code on your washer means.

In one of the hardest times of my life as a parent I learned how important it was to have knowledge of the Bible. In my brokenness I was crying out to the Lord. I remember lying on my floor in tears, praying that God would help my family in our pain. God reminded me of this scripture. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) I had read that more than once. When I was wondering how I could handle another day, this verse comforted me. I could go to Him and find rest.

Because I had spent time in the Word of God, I knew that God was reminding me of His truth. I was able to pick up the Bible and with no trouble, go right to that scripture. Being able to recall that one verse led me to more of God’s truth. Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your soul…for My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

With God, our biggest burden ever was made easier because we could count on Him. If I had never spent time in the Word I would not have known that to be true. Over and over the truth of God guided our family through that very upsetting time. God’s Word can also guide you step by step when you are not sure what you are to do next or your pain blinds you. Psalm 119:105 says it perfectly – Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. (NIV)

It is one thing to never open the owner’s manual for your washing machine until there is an error code but it is another to wait to open your Bible until things become overwhelming. Being able to recall the truth of God at any moment is very important. I hope that you make time in the Word of God a normal part of your day. I am currently reading the Bible in a year and I love “The Victory Bible Reading Plan”. There are many “Bible in a Year” reading plans that you can find online or at your local Christian bookstore. Make time in the Word a priority in your life. Don’t wait for the error code.

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The Aroma Of Your Character

Fall is my favorite time of year to stock up on lotions and body sprays from Bath & Body Works. I love to wear my “fall” scents all year long! I like the way they smell, and come on, who doesn’t like to smell good? I don’t know a girl that doesn’t smile when someone says, “What are you wearing? It smells good.”

Just like we put on our favorite lotions, body sprays, and perfumes, we also put on our attitudes and sometimes our attitudes don’t smell good. Quite frankly, they can stink! Recently I heard my professor, Pastor Frank Damazio of Portland Bible College say this in a lecture: “Your attitude is the aroma of your character. If you are sour and bitter, people will smell you coming.”

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Daily we choose what scent we want to wear, just like we choose our outfits. We also choose our attitudes. We can choose to be cheerful just as easy as we can choose to be grumpy.

What are you putting on each day? I know you would not purposely put on a fragrance that makes you smell bad; so don’t put on an attitude that stinks. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:31 (NIV)

Daily I hope you choose to put on an attitude that comes from the Holy Spirit. The “fruit of the spirit” to be exact…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

Remember, your attitude is the aroma of your character and it is a reflection of Christ to your peers.

Originally posted on the Whatever Girls

 

 

 

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I Will Put My Dwelling Place In You

 

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. Leviticus 26:11. Those are fourteen powerful words. God was telling the Israelites that He was going to dwell among them. And for God to say, “I will not abhor you,” meant that God would not regard them in distaste or hatred.

In the book of Leviticus God gives the Israelites a detailed blueprint about how to build the Tabernacle. When their work was completed, He resided in the “Most Holy Place” of the Tabernacle. How amazing it must have been for the Israelites to have God living among them with the promise that He would not abhor them. What about you and me today? We don’t have the Tabernacle so does that mean God is not living with us? On the contrary, God is living “IN” us.

God not only took up residence among the Israelites but He took it one step further and has taken up residence “in” those who believe that He sent His Son to die for them. When you give your life to the Lord and believe that His son died for your sins, you become God’s temple and His spirit dwells in you.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (ESV)

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What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” 2 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV 2011)

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. Romans 8:9 (NIV)

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. John 14:23 (NIV)

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)

God has made His home in you. You were bought and paid for with a price. His words to the Israelites, I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you from Leviticus were a precursor to what would come for you and me – the gift of Jesus Christ.

 

 Originally written for Living Better 50 Magazine

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Would You?

You are standing alone in front of 500 people. There are 1,000 eyes watching you.   With all of their attention focused on you…would you start saying things like W#%,  L^%@O, or any other four-letter words that would make your grandmother’s jaw drop? Would you get into a seductive pose? How about this – would you pick a person out of the crowd and bully them in front of all those watching you?

I would like to believe that if you found yourself in that situation you would be very careful about what you said or did in front of those 1,000 eyes. Can you imagine what the crowd would think if you bullied someone in front of them?

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Just recently I was speaking to a friend of mine and she asked her niece similar questions to what I just asked you. When her niece said, “No”, my friend shared some wise words with her and I want to share them with you. She said to her niece, “If you would not say those things in front of a bunch of people then why would you say it on Facebook?” Just because you cannot see the people who are looking at your photos or reading what you post, it doesn’t mean it is not a reflection of you.

In front of a crowd you would see people’s brows clinch in horror or you might even hear some gasps from the people watching and listening to you. Behind the computer, phone or IPad there is a false sense of security that anything goes because no one is really watching. That is not the case at all. Just because you can’t see the looks or hear the gasps, people really are watching you and what you post on social media is a reflection of who you are.

My friend is the wife of a police officer and when she shared with me what she told her niece there was a detective and crime scene investigator in the conversation with us. The detective shared with me that it is amazing what law enforcement can find on the internet. It is one of the first places they go when investigating a crime. He said if he can see what is out there, so can colleges and future employers.

So let’s start over.

You are sitting alone in front of your computer.   You can’t see who is watching you but there are several sets of eyes that see what you are posting. Anyone who looks at your post has their attention focused on you…would you say things like W#% or L^%@O, or any other four-letter words that would make your grandmother’s jaw drop? Would you get into a seductive pose, snap a photo and post it?   How about this – would you bully one of your peers for all those on social media to see?

Would you?

Before you post something on social media ask yourself if you would be comfortable saying or doing it in front of a crowd, think about and then delete it, if needed.

Originally posted on the Whatever Girls.

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He is the God of Constant Opposites

Today has not been my day. I am overwhelmed with pain and confusion as to what to do. Honestly, I am flat out tired. I feel like I am being buried in a pile of something that stinks really badly and I want out of it. In my 50 years I have learned that life is hard from time to time but in the middle of everything, there is one constant I can count on…God. No matter how deeply I may feel buried in a pile of something that stinks, He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

In Revelation 22:13, God says this about Himself: I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. God uses three comparisons to describe Himself. Notice each one is the opposite of the other. God says He is the Alpha and the Omega. These are the opposite ends of the Greek Alphabet. He says I am the first and the last. He is before all others and after all others. The beginning is the opposite of the end. Everything begins and ends with Him. What I mean by God being the “Constant Opposite” is that He is the opposite of our painful circumstances.

22186328_sHe is constant and I can always count on Him no matter how badly my circumstances may stink. I can also count on Him because He is the God of “opposites”. It may seem strange to think that God who is constant could be the God of opposites but it’s true.

Let me explain…

In our weakness, He is the constant opposite. He makes us strong.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

In our brokenness, He is the constant opposite. He brings us healing.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3

In our sin, He is the constant opposite. He offers redemption.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. Ephesians 1:7

In our sorrow, He is the constant opposite. He brings us joy.

He will… bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. Isaiah 61:3

When we are lost, He is the constant opposite. He will find us and save us.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. Luke 19:10

When we are tired and weary, He is the constant opposite. He will give us rest.

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

On days like today when I feel overwhelmed by heaping shovels of something stinky being dumped on me, I can count on God to be not only my constant but my constant opposite. I know when I reach out to Him, He is waiting to pull me out of it. He will clean me up, set my feet on something firm, and give me strength to keep going.

You too can count on Him to be your constant opposite. No matter what you feel buried in, reach out to Him. He will pull you out of it. In your weakness, He will give you strength. In your brokenness, He will give you healing. When you are caught in sin, He offers redemption. In your sorrow, He brings joy. When you are lost, through Him, you are found. When you are weary, He alone can bring you rest.

God is the beginning, the end, and the constant opposite in all of our painful circumstances. You can count on the God of constant opposites.

*All Scripture used is NIV

Originally posted on Living Better 50 Magazine

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There’s a “I” in Him

As a mom of former college baseball and softball players, I have heard the saying “there is no “I” in team” more times than I can count. In other words, one player is not to work alone, but rather work together with others to achieve a certain goal. Today I am drawn to the word “Him”, as in Christ. Yes, there is an “I” in that word but I am not just talking about the “I” in the spelling of Him.

As a woman, a wife, and a mother, who walks her life out with Christ, I can truly say; there’s an “I” in Him. Me, myself, and I are in Him and He is in me. We are a team and He is my captain. It is “I” in Him and “Him” in me that makes all things possible. Christ said it himself in Matthew 19:26, “Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Because I think like a baseball/softball mom, let me put it to you this way. Life can feel like a ball game. It may 5435255_mseem like you are at the bottom of the 9th, stuck on 3rd with 2 outs and you’re ready to give up. But it is at that moment that He steps up to the plate and knocks one out of the park. Christ is the only one I would ever want batting at that point in the game. I know that the things of this world sometimes leave me stranded on third but Christ will always bring me home. Never has He left me standing alone on the field of life and I will never stop giving Him praise.

Today I pray that you, too, are the “I” in Him and that He is in you. I pray that you will step behind Christ as your Team Captain and let Him call the plays. I also pray that you will let Him be your strength whatever life brings your way.

I hope that knowing you can also be the “I” in Him brings you peace during even the hardest of times.   What are you waiting for? The words of the song “Centerfield” by John Fogerty say it perfectly…“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play”. Be the “I” in Him!

 

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The Blessing Box

I am sure you have heard the expression, “Count your blessings”.

In our deepest pain, our blessings may be hard to find because it is difficult to see past our present circumstances. When we choose to walk with God, there is no guarantee that there won’t be struggles. By acknowledging our blessings and worshiping God in the storm, we not only honor Him, but it opens heaven’s floodgates of strength and comfort to carry us through whatever we are facing. When we feel like we have nothing in us, those are the times we need to praise Him all the more.

DSC_7524About five years ago we walked through a very painful time when our daughter was harmed in an act of violence. More than once, I thanked God that there were only 24 hours in a day because with each new morning His mercies were new. At one point during that hard time my friend took my hands and raised them to the Lord and said, “Thank God for the blessings you can see”. At first I looked at her like she was crazy and I thought how can there be anything to be thankful for in this nightmare.

As I sat on the floor with tears streaming down my cheeks, my friend held my hands up to the Lord, and I said, “Thank you, Lord, they did not kill my daughter”. In that moment I felt a sense of joy during the most painful time of my life. My daughter was alive! I had missed that in my pain. With my hands still held up by my friend, I began to thank God for the blessings I had not noticed in my pain.

Suddenly I realized she had let go of my hands and I was holding them up on my own. I was still hurt by what had happened and concerned about what lay ahead of us but I had new strength. For the first time in over a month, I was able to sleep through the night. The next day I added a night of sleep to my list of blessings.

In September 2015 while thanking God for a new blessing in my life, I got the idea of making a blessing box for my husband and myself. It sits in the area where we spend time in study and prayer. On the days that are hard and we struggle to find the words to pray, we can dump out the blessings in the box and then read them one at a time. It is very powerful. I can start on empty and when I am done reading them, I am running on a full tank of joy.

I want to encourage you to make a blessing box for yourself. If you are married or have children living with you, make a blessing box to share or make one for each of you. When the storms hit and you can’t find the words to pray dump that box out in your lap and start thanking God for how He has blessed you. Let Him turn your sorrow into joy because a joyful heart is good medicine. –Proverbs 17:22 (NASB)

 

Authors note:

Here is an idea for the whole family. Get some fun things to decorate the blessing box and include the whole family in the decorating. Setting aside time each week to share your blessings with each other and adding them to your blessing box is a simple way to acknowledge what the Lord is doing in your family.

 

Every couple of months dump the box out and take turns reading the blessings. No matter how old your children are, they can all take part in this. Teaching your children to count their blessings and give thanks, helps build their faith so that when the storms come, they will remember to look beyond their circumstances and see the goodness there is in the Lord.

 

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