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Marico Early

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Savor Every Moment

Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave,[a] there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.

Savor Every Moment
Yesterday my daughter drove me to a doctor’s appointment. As I rode in the car the sunshine was beaming through the windows on my face, and it felt absolutely wonderful.  The weather was perfect!  It was about 78 degrees out, and it was just a glorious day.  Even though the air conditioner was on, I took a moment and rolled down my window just to breathe in the fresh air. I wanted to take it all in. I didn’t want to miss a single thing about yesterday.  A few of the trees have started to change colors here, and the timing is perfect because it was also the first day of Fall. Fall is absolutely by far, my favorite time of year.  I was careful to look at the gorgeous trees and the beautiful clear blue sky, as we drove by.   I enjoyed looking at what the Master Artist was creating.  When I see days like yesterday where the weather is just absolutely perfect, I see it totally as a gift from God. Of course, we know that every day is a gift from God, but I think days like that, are considered a special gift from God.

So after getting back from the doctor’s office and taking a short nap, I decided to continue my self-care time by resting in my comfy chair. While sitting there, I decided to scroll through Facebook to see what was going on.  And that’s when my day took a turn.  I saw that a friend that I had not spoken to within about three years, had passed away from pneumonia at only 46 years of age.  Needless to say, I was totally shocked!   Her husband is now left to raise their only child who is about 8 years of age.

Last night as I thought of her, and how she enjoyed traveling, decorating her home beautifully, going to concerts, riding motorcycles with her husband, and oh let’s not forget shopping for the most gorgeous of clothes for she and her daughter, I was happy that she had lived a very full life in her short 46 years.  I was happy that she had not put a thing on hold.  She absolutely loved being a mom and a wife. She loved cooking from scratch and trying new recipes.   She struggled with some health issues, so she always prepared very healthy meals, for her and her family. Her husband absolutely adored her, and the feeling was so mutual.

I thought of her most of the night.  I remember hearing that death is for the living, and I can truly say that an unexpected death gets our attention like nothing else. It causes us to go deep in thought and to reflect.  Last night as I laid in bed, I remember thanking God for my day.   After hearing such sad news about my friend, I was so glad that going to the doctor was not just another ride in the car, but I was truly glad that I had savored every moment of my ride. Going forward I want to really be present and alert as I go through my day.  I don’t want to just go through the motions, I want to enjoy each day that God gives me. I want to thank Him for allowing me to open my eyes to each new day. I want to savor every experience.   I want to be present in every moment.  Ladies I don’t want to miss a thing!

We all know that we will leave this earth one day. What we don’t know is when or how, and that’s one of the mysteries of death. But be clear, death is certain!  So I encourage you to live a full life starting today. Don’t put the things that you want to do on hold. Figure out a way to do the things that are important to you or that you are passionate about.  Don’t assume that you have time.  As you start this process, start with time with God each and every day. Pray for His divine favor over your life.  Ask Him to remind you to slow down and savor every moment.  Even when life is hard, and those days will come, trust God and try to savor your day anyway.  Don’t let the enemy steal your joy. Remember there is a blessing in every day, even the hard days.

Happiness Is A Slice Of Pound Cake

Happiness Is A Slice Of Pound Cake

One of the things that I enjoy most is seeing others made happy.  It is even more
enjoyable for me if I have contributed to their happiness in some way or another.   I
wanted to write about this today because; unbelievably we all have a special gift that if
shared, will bring happiness to someone else.
Some of us have several things that we really do well, that would be a blessing to
others.  Today I would like you to search your treasure chest of special gifts and
talents.  Ask yourself, what is the one thing that I do so well that it brings happiness to
others?
The next step after discovering what it is would be to remove it from your treasure
chest and dust it off.  Start to notice the number of smiles that you can create, simply by
sharing your God-given gift or talent with others.  Most of us already know what our
gifts are.  In many cases, we may have been reluctant to share them with others in the
past, because of our own fears and insecurities, which by the way is a trick of the
enemy.
I personally know that public speaking is my gift.  I love to speak and that is where I
find my greatest joy.  But I will have to tell you when I really want to make someone
happy, I give them a slice of my famous pound cake,  it is as though the world stops and
smiles take over.  I have never seen so much happiness in one room, as when I walk in
with this pound cake.  Family and friends are instantly happy just to know that it rode
in the car with me to their home and that they will soon get to enjoy more
deliciousness when they can hardly take in, in one sitting.
You may be asking how I got from talking about my gift of public speaking to talking
about the famous pound cake that I bake, from scratch I might add.  The reason I
brought it up, is that there may be a varied number of things that you are capable of
doing well, that would brighten up the world of those around you.
You may grow beautiful flowers, and they certainly would brighten up someone’s day.
Let us face it, it is hard to look at a bouquet of flowers and not smile.  They seem to
always bring joy.  You may be a musician, and just think how many would be happy, if
you stopped by a nursing home and asked if you could go in and just play the piano for
an hour or two.
Maybe your gift is storytelling. Can you imagine how many children; in your local
Children’s Hospital would love for you to stop by, and let your imagination run wild, as
you capture their hearts with a great story.   Maybe sewing is your thing.  Winter is
coming.  Think of how many families are struggling to afford winter clothes, and
you have the ability to whip up a winter outfit, or a nice warm blanket in a flash.
You see this is how we love others tangibly.  It really does not matter what your gift or
talent is, what matters is that you use it.  God created every one of us uniquely
Differently.  He blessed us with these special abilities to be a blessing to others.  This is
One of the ways that we are to let our light shine.  Today use your gift to be a difference-maker, and bring a smile to the face of someone who could use a little happiness in his
or her life.  What a beautiful and happy world, it would be, if we all used our gifts and
talents the way God intended for them to be used.

 

 

Faith Like Habakkuk

Today I would like to dive into the action word Faith.  Let me start this lesson by asking; How strong is your faith? How strong is your commitment as a Christian, to the God that you serve?
I know that we all would like to think that we could withstand any test, no matter how difficult.  However,  the reality may be, that we may not really know how well we will do until we encounter the test. 
The Old Testament book of Habakkuk holds some of my favorite scriptures in the entire bible.  Habakkuk was a prophet who was clearly upset with the violence, lawlessness, injustice, and wickedness that was taking place in Judah during his time.  He went to the Lord in prayer,  asking out of apparent frustration; “How long, O Lord must I call for help?  But you do not listen!  “Violence is everywhere!”  I cry, but you do not come to save.  Habakkuh 1: 2 
I could totally relate to Habakkuk when he said “ How long, O Lord must I call for help?  I cry, but you do not come to save me.  Haven’t we all been there at one time or another?  I know I certainly have.   What I love about Habakkuk’s story is this:
1. He knew who to call out to when he needed help.  He was clear that God was the only one that could solve this problem.  He was a man of faith and he prayed faithfully.
2. He didn’t stop praying just because he had not received an answer.
3. When he received a response from God, he was willing to listen and he was willing to share his honest feelings with God.
4.  He knew the character of God.  When we know the character of God, it helps our faith in Him to grow stronger.  Habakkuk 1:13…
5. He remembered that historically God had been there to rescue his people in prior years.  When we are having a difficult time waiting for God,  it gives us so much hope, to recall what He has already done for us in the past.
 Habakkuk 3:2…
6. He was committed to being faithful to God,  no matter what came his way and to praise God in the process.  His mind was already made up, on what his response would be no matter the trial.  He clearly had faith in the One that he served.   I want to encourage you to do the same.  Make up your mind now, that no matter what, you will faithfully serve God.  Have faith that He will come through for you when He feels that it is best.
Habakkuk 3:17-19
In this life, we all will encounter so many twists and turns that we will not see coming, and the best way to be prepared for the unforeseen, is to walk closely with God.  Take Him as your partner in all that you do.  Stay in His word, meditating on it day and night.  Stay prayerful, by talking to Him at all times, in other words, pray without ceasing.  Most importantly, take a few minutes each day, to get still and listen for His voice, which usually comes in a whisper.
Regardless of the answer that God gives you, give Him praise.  This is truly the only way, to have faith like Habakkuk!

What Makes God Great Part 2

What Makes God Great Part 2

Daniel 4: 35
All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”
1st Chronicles 29: 10-14
10 David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly, saying, “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.
11 Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all.
12 Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all.
13 Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
14 “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
Psalm 139: 7-10
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
Jeremiah 23:23-24
“Am I only a God nearby, ”declares the Lord,  “and not a God far away?
24 Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them? “declares the Lord.
   “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the Lord.
Psalm 147:5
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.
Job 11: 7-9
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?
They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do?
    They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know?
Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.
Philippians 4:19
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 1:3
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.
2nd Chronicles 20:6
and said: “Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.
Proverbs 16:9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Psalm 50:7-12
“Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel:  I am God, your God.
I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
Psalm 102:12
But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations.
Ephesians 1:18-20
18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
1st Peter 1: 16
16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”[a]
1st John 4:16
16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
Revelation 4: 8
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:

“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’[a]
who was, and is, and is to come.”

This Is Why God Is Great:

God is Eternal, there was no beginning and there will be no end to His existence.
God is Sovereign, He reigns supreme over all and He has the final say always.
God is Infinite, He is not limited by space and time as humans are.
God is Omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time.
God is Omniscience. He knows everything, whether past present, or future. He knows it all.
God is Omnipotent. He has unlimited authority and power.
God Is Immutable.  God is unchanging.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God is Self-Existent. He was not created as human beings were. His existence is by and of Himself, he relies on no one to sustain His existence.
God is Self-Sufficient.  He has the ability to take care of Himself.  He depends on no one.
God is Incomprehensible. No one can fully grasp or understand the mind of God.
God is Holy.  He is without blemish or sin. He is perfect!
God is Love. All that God does for us is from a place of love, He loves sacrificially.

 

What Makes God Great? Part 1 

What Makes God Great? Part 1 

Today I have decided to share on the greatness of God.  As you look at the title of today’s blog, it ask the question; What Makes God Great?  Well, I will have to say, that the short answer would be that He is great, because “He is God”, end of discussion.

However, I think that it would be more beneficial to my readers, for me to share what the scriptures have to say about the greatness of our God. This is a lot to take in at one time so this lesson has been written as part 1 and part 2.   Hopefully, through reading these scriptures you will be in absolute awe of our “Amazing God!”   He is greater than anything that we could possibly fully comprehend.
Now let’s dive into His word fully expecting to be blessed beyond measure. By the way, it’s ok to have a moment or two where you break out in praise to Him as you read these scriptures.
He is so worthy of all of our praise!
This Is Why God Is Great:

God is Eternal, there was no beginning and there will be no end to His existence.
God is Sovereign, He reigns supreme over all and He has the final say always.
God is Infinite, He is not limited by space and time as humans are.
God is Omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time.
God is Omniscience. He knows everything, whether past present, or future. He knows it all.
God is Omnipotent. He has unlimited authority and power.
God Is Immutable.  God is unchanging.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
God is Self-Existent. He was not created as human beings were. His existence is by and of Himself, he relies on no one to sustain His existence.
God is Self-Sufficient.  He has the ability to take care of Himself.  He depends on no one.
God is Incomprehensible. No one can fully grasp or understand the mind of God.
God is Holy.  He is without blemish or sin. He is perfect!
God is Love. All that God does for us is from a place of love, He loves sacrificially.

Romans 11: 33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! 34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”[b]35 “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?”[c]36 For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
Proverbs 16: 9
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.
Psalm 115: 3
Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.
Isaiah 14: 24
24 The Lord Almighty has sworn, “Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,  and as I have purposed, so it will happen.
Revelation 4: 11
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
Acts 17: 24-25
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.
Revelation 1: 8
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Malachi 3: 6
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Psalm 147: 5
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;  his understanding has no limit.
Psalm 145: 3
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
Hebrews 13: 8
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Psalm 102: 27
But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
Romans 11:33
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

The Stranger and The Piano Player

Are You Using Your Influence For Good?

Galatians 6:10
10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Proverbs 14:21

21 It is a sin to belittle one’s neighbor; blessed are those who help the poor.
1 John 3:18

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
Hebrews 13:2

Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

This past week I was watching the news, and to my surprise, there was a feel-good story at the end of the broadcast.  I was so blessed by it that my heart is still smiling several days later.

The man who was interviewed plays the piano in an Atlanta Airport. He loves to bring joy to those who are walking through from one destination to the other.   As passengers go through the airport they listen to this wonderful music, that is played by a gentleman who loves making others smile, and is passionate about his craft.

A few days ago a perfect stranger went up to him and started a conversation because he was so impressed with how beautifully he played the piano.   Wow, talking about a divine appointment!  This perfect stranger had no idea that he was about to be used by God in a very significant way, and the Piano Man had no idea that he was about to be blessed beyond his wildest dreams.

During the conversation, the stranger finds out that the Piano Man has been battling a very serious kidney disease.  The musician goes home each evening and does nine hours of dialysis. He then returns to the airport the next day to play the piano for four hours for tips.

It turned out that the stranger is an Instagram Influencer, with several hundred thousand followers.   His heart was so touched by the Piano Man’s story, that he went on to his Social Media Site immediately while he was still in the airport, and asked them to give donations to the Piano Man.  In just a few minutes $10,000. Had been given on the Piano Man’s behalf, and a few days later it had jumped to over $70,000.  Wow! Can you imagine?  Yes, I said it, over $70,000. In just a few days.

Needless to say, when the stranger went back to the Piano Player and told him the news, the Piano Player could not believe it.  He was overcome with joy and gratitude, and probably a bit of disbelief too.  His eyes immediately filled with tears and they embraced one another.  All I could think was what a wonderful heartwarming story this was.  So many will be blessed by this one man’s kindness and generosity.  This story made me want to be a better person and I hope that it has done the same for you!

There were several great lessons that I took away from this story that I would like to share with you:

1.  The power of one!   You may be the only one, but be the one.  Others will follow, and even if they don’t follow, be             the   one anyway.  God doesn’t need a lot to do a lot.  Read Gideon’s story.

2.  Use your influence in a positive way. This stranger had a very large circle of influence, and he got them engaged in something that would make a positive difference in someone else life.  We can all be difference makers, no matter how large or small our circle of influence is.

3.  Use your Social Media platform to encourage, and to do good, not to be negative and tear others down.

4.  Do good when it’s in your power to do good.

5.  Don’t be too busy to invest a few minutes into the life of someone else.

6.  The Piano Player was transparent.  Don’t be ashamed to tell your story. You never know, God may bless you for               sharing.

7.  The Piano Player was extremely grateful and he expressed his gratitude to the stranger. 

8.  The Piano Player loved making others happy, by using the gift that God had blessed him with.

9.  When you bless others you will be blessed.

10. Kindness is contagious.

11. The stranger saw a need, and he did not deliberate, he immediately went into action.

12.  The Piano man never looked sad during this entire interview, he actually was a joyful person.  No one could have             ever looked at him and been able to tell that he was going through a tough time.

Sisters Take A Rest

Sisters Take A Rest

Genesis 2:1-2
So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work.
Mark 6:31
31 
Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.

2 Samuel 16:14
14 
The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.[a]

June 30th was the end of the fiscal year for the company that I currently work for.  I had set several career goals that I wanted to achieve by the end of June, and by the grace of God I was blessed to achieve them.   I was determined that irregardless to how tired I already was, I would push through until I had accomplished them all.  What I did not take under consideration, was that due to an illness that I have been dealing with recently, my energy level was just not where it once was.

For the twenty-five years that I have been working this particular job, I have not given myself permission as frequently as I should have, to just rest.  I can blame no one but myself, for not taking better care of me.  After all, if I am tired or not feeling well, and I won’t stop to rest or take a breather, how would anyone else know that I am exhausted and need a break.   When people see you running like a chicken with her head cut off over and over again, they start to assume that you are fine, and that’s just the way you like doing life.

Well, I knew I was a bit tired, but I had no idea that I was literally running on fumes.  About two days after the end of the month, I was so tired one morning, that no matter how hard I tried, I could not seem to get out of bed.  I slept almost half the day away.  The next day I also slept a lot longer than usual.  My body was simply saying, you have got to stop, and it did not have to tell me twice.  I had no gas left, and I could not go even if I had wanted to.

After having a few days to assess this situation and I have come to the conclusion that number one, I must take better care of myself.  I am a bit older than I was twenty-five years ago and it is important that I make getting the proper amount of sleep each night a priority.  It is also important that I carve out some days to rest and even have vacation time carved into my schedule.  It is also equally as important for me to eat the foods that will boost my energy level.

In the past when I have taken time off, I have always ended up one way or the other, finding a way back to sneak in some work time.   I have now decided that rest time, will be rest time, and work time, will be work time!  There will be no more commingling of work and rest for me.  I have given myself permission to rest with absolutely no guilt attached and I sincerely hope that if you are overworked and exhausted, that you will give yourself permission to do the same.  

I realize that as women, we frequently put ourselves on the back burner.  If we are going to be our best self for those that we love, we must get our rest.  We must take better care of the one person that the family depends on most, and for sure, in most cases that is usually mom.  I hope that from this day forward, that you will be encouraged, that it’s ok to take a nap and it is ok to take a few moments each day to sit down and curl up with a good book or even to take a bubble bath instead of a five-minute shower.  Trust me, the world will not fall apart if you do, and even if it did, you could deal with it much better if you were well-rested.

 Be blessed my sisters and get some rest!

Below I have listed a few benefits of getting rest:

1.  You feel refreshed.
2.  You have clarity of mind.
3.  You make better decisions.
4.  You are more pleasant to be around. (You are not grouchy)
5.  You have more energy.
6.  Your body heals more quickly when you are sleeping.
7. You won’t look tired.

Psalm 127:2
It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

 

Time Is Precious

Time Is Precious
Ephesians 5:15-17
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
Psalm 90:12
12 So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
    a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Today as I am writing this lesson, it seems as though it was only yesterday that it was Saturday afternoon.  Here it is Saturday again.  How could seven days have possibly flown by so quickly?   It amazes me how fast the weeks, months, and years are flying by.

I remember when I was a little girl, my dad always said, that the older you get, the faster time seems to go by.   None of that really made sense to me at that time, but now that I am older, it all makes perfect sense.
I think that as you get older, you seem to value time more.  Therefore you try to squeeze in as many productive activities as you possibly can in one 24 hour span.  Also, could it be that as we get older, we are moving slower and we just don’t get as much done in a day as we used to?   Don’t get upset, it’s just a thought!

As a child, I remember waiting forever for Christmas, and now it seems that it rolls around every five to six months.  I realize that it’s not actually happening that fast, that’s just what it seems like when your days are full and you are as busy as can be. You look up and wow, Christmas is here again!

Our relationship with time is of the utmost importance.   Like money, it is something that should not be squandered.  It should be valued and appreciated and used wisely.  It is so important, that in the book of Ecclesiastes, an entire chapter was written on time. 

I felt the subject “Time” was important to write on today because I see so many people wasting their precious gift of time.  In most cases, they are not clear on their purpose, and they don’t usually have a passionate goal to keep them moving forward.   I have found that when this is the case, more times than not, time seems not to be so important and therefore squandered.   Wouldn’t it be nice if someone that was not going to use their precious gift of time, could just transfer it to you, to be used as you pleased?  I always feel like I could use more time.  I heard a quote by Bruce Lee that says:  If you love life, don’t waste time, for it is what life is made up of. So may I ask you, are you using your time wisely?  Do you feel like, you are making the best use of your time?

Please be clear, I am not saying don’t take a break or a rest, or even a vacation.  We all know that we have to stop from time to time to refuel and recharge our bodies and minds.  I am merely asking you to be a good steward of your time, if you haven’t been in the past.  Your time is something to be treasured and protected.  Only God knows how much time each of us will be granted.  So make the most of your time, so that when God does call you home, and you meet Him face to face, He can say that you were a good and faithful servant of your time.  Remember to be as faithful in being a good steward over your time, as you are of all the other gifts and talents that He has generously granted you.  Be blessed and keep your eyes on the clock, because it is ticking!

Today as I am writing this lesson, it seems as though it was only yesterday that it was Saturday afternoon.  Here it is Saturday again.  How could seven days have possibly flown by so quickly?   It amazes me how fast the weeks, months, and years are flying by.

I remember when I was a little girl, my dad always said, that the older you get, the faster time seems to go by.   None of that really made sense to me at that time, but now that I am older, it all makes perfect sense.
I think that as you get older, you seem to value time more.  Therefore you try to squeeze in as many productive activities as you possibly can in one 24 hour span.  Also, could it be that as we get older, we are moving slower and we just don’t get as much done in a day as we used to?   Don’t get upset, it’s just a thought!

As a child, I remember waiting forever for Christmas, and now it seems that it rolls around every five to six months.  I realize that it’s not actually happening that fast, that’s just what it seems like when your days are full and you are as busy as can be. You look up and wow, Christmas is here again!

Our relationship with time is of the utmost importance.   Like money, it is something that should not be squandered.  It should be valued and appreciated and used wisely.  It is so important, that in the book of Ecclesiastes, an entire chapter was written on time. 

I felt the subject “Time” was important to write on today because I see so many people wasting their precious gift of time.  In most cases, they are not clear on their purpose, and they don’t usually have a passionate goal to keep them moving forward.   I have found that when this is the case, more times than not, time seems not to be so important and therefore squandered.   Wouldn’t it be nice if someone that was not going to use their precious gift of time, could just transfer it to you, to be used as you pleased?  I always feel like I could use more time.  I heard a quote by Bruce Lee that says:  If you love life, don’t waste time, for it is what life is made up of. So may I ask you, are you using your time wisely?  Do you feel like, you are making the best use of your time?

Please be clear, I am not saying don’t take a break or a rest, or even a vacation.  We all know that we have to stop from time to time to refuel and recharge our bodies and minds.  I am merely asking you to be a good steward of your time if you haven’t been in the past.  Your time is something to be treasured and protected.  Only God knows how much time each of us will be granted.  So make the most of your time, so that when God does call you home, and you meet Him face to face, He can say that you were a good and faithful servant of your time.  Remember to be as faithful in being a good steward over your time, as you are of all the other gifts and talents that He has generously granted you.  Be blessed and keep your eyes on the clock, because it is ticking!

A Good Father

A Good Father

Since Father’s Day is right around the corner, I thought I would share a few scriptures on the role of a good father.

 I hope that you are making special plans, to celebrate and honor the fathers in your life this Father’s Day.  Whether it is your dad, your husband, son, or brother, if they are a good father, they deserve to be celebrated, for the many sacrifices they make on a daily basis.   Good fathers are always working hard to protect, support, and to provide for their families.

Let’s take a few minutes and dive in and see, what the scriptures have to say about the role of a good father.  If this is something that blesses you, and you think that it could be a blessing to a young man who did not have a great role model, please feel free to share it with him.

A Good Father Fears The Lord
Proverbs 20:7
He who walks in his integrity is righteous; happy are his children who follow him.

A Good Father Leads His Children
Joshua 24:15
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Titus 2:2
Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

A Good Father Prays for His Children
1st Chronicles 29:19
19 And give my son Solomon the wholehearted devotion to keep your commands, statutes and decrees and to do everything to build the palatial structure for which I have provided.”

A Good Father Protects His Children
Deuteronomy 1:29-31
29 Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. 30 The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, 31 and in the wilderness. There you saw how
the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
Proverbs 14:26
Whoever fears the Lord has a secure fortress,  and for their children it will be a refuge.

A Good Father Provides For His Children
Proverb 13:22
A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children,
 but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.
1 Timothy 5:8
8  Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

A Good Father Trains/Teaches His Children
Proverbs 22:6
Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Proverbs 1:8
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

A Good Father Disciplines His Children
Proverbs 3:11-12
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke,

12 because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.[a]
Hebrews 12:7
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

Proverbs 13:24
Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

A Good Father Encourages His Children
1 Thessalonians 2:11-12
11 For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, 12 encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory.

A Good Father Has Compassion For Their Children
Psalm 103:13
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

Luke 15:20-24
20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.

A Good Father Will Not Provoke His Children To Anger
Ephesians 6:4
Fathers,[a] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Colossians 3:21
21 Fathers,[a] do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
Matthew 18:6
6
“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

A Good Father Sets A Great Example Of How To Love, By The Way He Loves And Honors His Wife.
Ephesians 5:25-37
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
1 Peter 3:7
Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8…
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails. …..

A Good Father Is Blessed By His Children
Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Proverbs 23:24
The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.
Psalm 128:3-4
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine   within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
3 John 1:4
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Are you Connecting The Dots?

Are you Connecting The Dots?

Ephesians 6:12
12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
17 Pray without ceasing.
Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

About three weeks ago, I joined a Tuesday morning Zoom Bible Study.  Well, today is Tuesday, so this morning I got up eager and ready to go.  Although it was quite early by my standards, I got dressed and even had my makeup on pretty early.   I can’t tell you just how excited I am about this study.  There are one hundred and forty like-minded women in my profession, that are in this study.  So, I was ready to hang out with my girls and learn more about Jesus.

Things were rolling along quite well this morning, as I was preparing to get onto the morning Zoom.   My breakfast smoothie was made.  I had my book for the study and my Bible, and I was ready to go.  However little did I know, that my computer had decided to side with the enemy.  No matter how many times I tried,  I could not get the link for the study to work.   After trying several times, my husband decided to try and help me out, and he even got the same results that I had gotten.  I was so frustrated because by this time ten to fifteen minutes of the study had gone by.   I had looked forward to this study for three weeks and here I was missing it.

While all of this was going on, I realized that I didn’t bring anything to the table to write on.  I had a brand new spiral notebook, that I had put to the side just for this study.   Will you please tell me why I couldn’t find it?  Everything was falling apart.   While my husband continued to try to pull the Bible Study up on the computer, I got up and went to my bedroom to look for my spiral notebook.   I didn’t see it anywhere.   All of a sudden I connected the dots.  The enemy was trying his best to block me from participating, and hearing from God through this study.  He wanted no spiritual growth from me.

I even got a text from a friend that I had invited to join, saying that there was something wrong with her link to the study.  Please trust me, when I tell you that Satan was putting up a fight.  Trust me also when I tell you that the devil is a liar.

While I was in my bedroom I started to pray.  I asked God to please help me to find my spiral notebook.  The very next moment He led me to the notebook.  As I was about to go out of my bedroom door, the Holy Spirit prompted me to take my iPad to the table and try it instead of the computer, and WOW, it worked.   All I can say is the power of prayer!   

If God worked through that one short prayer to shut the enemy down, imagine how powerfully He could work in our lives if we prayed without ceasing, as He commands us to do in His word.  Satan is on his job 24/7, therefore we cannot relent, we cannot cease from praying.  We must always be prayed and powered up.  Don’t let your spiritual battery run low.  Stay powered up through prayer and through reading God’s word.

Most importantly connect the dots.  When things like this start to happen, know that it is straight-up spiritual warfare. The resistance is Satan taking a stand against, what is good for you.  Start praying immediately and remember you must fight a spiritual battle, with spiritual weapons, and prayer is the greatest of spiritual weapons.  Pray on my sisters! Pray on!

Something to remember:
Greater is He that’s in you than, than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Romans 12:12
12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Ephesians 6:18
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.