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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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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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Keeping Christ in Christmas

Originally written for Living Better 50 Magazine.

It was a snowy December day when I found myself walking in a very slippery Fred Meyer Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.57.50 PMparking lot. As I approached my car, I saw a couple who looked to be in their 80’s or 90’s. The husband was trying to push the cart through the snow and help his wife who was very frail. Watching them made me think of my grandparents who I missed deeply. Carefully I walked toward them extending my arm to the woman to help her keep her balance.

When we reached their car she hugged me, and for a moment, it felt like my grandma had given me a hug. While her husband put the bags in the trunk I helped her into the car and told her that the hug she had given me blessed me because I missed my grandma. She took my hand, looked into my eyes and said, “You are my angel and God sent you to me today.” I wished them a “Merry Christmas”, closed the car door, and returned the shopping cart with teary eyes and a heart filled with joy.

In the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season don’t forget that you are a witness for Christ. That day I was in a big hurry to get a lot of things done. I very easily could have ignored that couple and moved along to the next thing on my long list of to-do’s. I wonder how many times I have missed a chance to show kindness toward others because I was in too much of a hurry to stop and share the love of the man who laid down his life for me. Maybe you are also missing opportunities.

Every year it seems as though Christ gets pushed out of Christmas more and more. We must make a point of not getting so “wrapped” up in holiday parties, baking, and gift shopping that we forget the reason we are celebrating Christmas. Let’s not get so caught up in finding the perfect decorating ideas on Pinterest that we “Pinterest Jesus” right out of the season.

This holiday season take time each day to look for ways to be the hands and feet of Christ. I can almost guarantee someone will cross your path that needs a helping hand. Just a short five-minute interaction changed my perspective greatly, it might change yours too. Six years later I am still filled with joy when I think of that sweet couple I helped in that snowy parking lot.

Show grace to the tired clerk or grumpy shopper. Think of the grace Christ has shown you. Rather than snap at the driver who cut you off, have a heart full of forgiveness and say a prayer that they would slow down. How many times has Christ forgiven you? As you wrap a gift say a prayer for the person who will receive it. Prayer can work wonders in the hardest of hearts.

In the simplest of actions you can keep the love of Christ alive this holiday season. After all, it really is about Him.

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This I believe

Beautiful words written by my daughter, Hanna. 

I believe that this world is full of beauty and opportunities. Beauty that is made for everyone who dares to reach out and grab a hold of it and opportunities that give people second chances at a new life and new hope. There will be times of pure joy and times of pure sadness that seem to never end but somehow time continues to pass and you learn that it doesn’t stop for anyone. And even though this world can be an unforgiving place it still amazes me each and every morning when the sun rises across the horizon and brings a new day. I believe that when night falls looking up at the stars shows us how small we are and how big our God is.

I believe that Gods creation of intense beauty outweighs the hurt in this world and if we cling to his promises he will make us beautiful and we will forever be changed.

IMG_9794I believe that times will be tough and giving up may be the easiest thing to do, but I promise that there are so many things to live for. There is hurt, heartache, poverty, brokenness, abuse and darkness but it is when we are at ourlowest points that we find our true strength and cling to the hope that we are never alone and this chaotic place has no grasp. There are so many opportunities to choose joy over sadness and to choose to push forward even when your feet are stuck in the mud. I believe that the mud comes with rain, and rain can wash away all your fears if you let it. Because no matter how much it rains you can always choose to dance in the puddles with polka dotted rain boots.

I believe that when flowers bloom it is not by accident, but rather to prove that God works in mysterious and intricate DSC_0014ways. Every day holds meaning and celebration that was made to enjoy and every time you take a breath of air know that you are blessed to be alive.

I believe that every child holds within them innocence in the most purest form that should never be taken away and when that child grows up it turns into a flame that is given to another person who completes what they have always dreamed of. I believe that when God created our inmost being and breathed life into our lungs he had a plan and a destiny so amazing that none can fathom.  And when he counted the hairs on your head and gave color to your cheeks he knew that nothing else could ever compare to your beauty.

I believe that every person of every skin color and every language should know what it’s like to belong and to understand what it is to be loved. I believe that the truest love a person can experience is the love of Christ who fought for you without a second of hesitation.

So whenever you feel alone, abandoned, hopeless and lost you can know that the scars on his hands are not there for looks. The scars are there because no matter our circumstance we can remember that someone took the pain and the punishment for mankind because we are valued more precious than the finest gold and purest jewels. That is what I believe.

By Hanna Mae  (My Daughter)

 

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