Week 35: His Timing

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{God makes everything happen at the right time. –Ecclesiastes 3:11 (CEV)}

I had rented a popular movie the other night and needed to return it to one of those outside movie boxes. I always return movies to the same place, but I ended up going home a different way and realized too late that I missed the street and would have to find another location to return the movie. Score! I found a corner store and pulled into the parking lot. I noticed a man at the movie box looking very frustrated when I walked up. He walked away empty handed and got into his truck with his family in it and sat there for a moment. As I walked up to the box screen I noticed it was still on the first letter of what he tried to select and it started with the same letter as the movie I held in my hand. I turned around to his truck, waved my hands, and he rolled down his window (I can only imagine what he thought at first). I asked if he was looking for the movie I held and he said “YES!”, I told him I’d return it then he could have it. I could see the relief and joy in his eyes as his kids clapped in the truck. I told him I didn’t usually drop off my movies there, but I guess God thought it was meant to be. He agreed, smiled and thanked me again. I sat in my car for a moment to see him drive away much happier than when I’d arrived.

It made me think…timing is everything. Especially when we realize it’s God’s timing! He chose for me to miss my original turn, to drive up to that particular store, have the man still there, leave the screen on the letter, and gave me the insight that my movie may have been the one the Dad was looking for. I believe there are no coincidences; instead directions from our Lord. Trust in His timing. Be Blessed!

Week 34: The Right Thing

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{Even if you have to suffer for doing good things, God will bless you. So stop being afraid and don’t worry about what people might do.–1 Peter 3:14 CEV}

My integrity was tested tonight. Do the right thing for a personal issue and have someone disappointed with my decision or say to myself, ‘Will it really matter?’ and make the popular choice. It can be troubling to think about what will be said or thought about you for taking a stand. I remembered my family and friends depend on my honesty and faith to be the person God created me to be. I am fulfilling His plan with my good choices and being truthful so the choice was easy.

It made me thing – the person who was questioning me on my decision to do right in this situation is who I will lift up in prayer for strength. I may be God’s tool for that person to show His glory. Cutting corners or choosing the easy way may be robbing God from the future gifts He wants to give us. Be strong and be blessed!

 

Week 33: Begin

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{But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. — 2 Chronicles 15:7}

I went to a local fast food drive-thru for lunch and was amazed by the team work that was displayed in the parking lot. There were 2 people taking orders, a person checking receipts, and another person handing out the food in front of the window to help speed up the process. At first, I thought this is a whole lot of people just for lunch. Then I realized there had been at least 10 cars in front of me and it took less than 5 minutes to play my order and receive it–and it was right! See, they saw the small goal–get customers their food quickly, but they also honored the big goal–time matters to their customers.

It made me think–how thought out is my life? Do I see the big picture and realize that breaking a big process down to make it more successful is worth my time and energy? Am I intentional with the little things I do? Our God has given us the skills to be successful. Sometimes we just have the break down the big goal and start with 1.) BEGIN. Be Blessed!

Week 32: The Joy of the Lord

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{The joy of the Lord is my strength.–Nehemiah 8:10}

There is a little chorus, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” I have made notes in my Bible that says, to have joy every day:

  1. Refuse a bitter spirit
  2. Recognize the Lord’s presence
  3. Turn anxieties into prayer (Philippians 4:6 reads, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”)
  4. Accept God’s peace as a gift
  5. Focus on God’s goodness (James 1:17 reads, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights…”)
  6. Do what you have been taught (Philippians 4:9 reads “The things which you learned and received and hard and saw in me (Paul), these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”)

Do you have the “joy of the Lord?” God’s Word can lead you back to His joy and peace. Seek Him and His peace and He will show His care for you.

Week 31: I Miss My Time with You

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{Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.–James 4:8}

There are many ways the Lord may choose to speak to us. For myself, one of those ways is through music. There have been many songs written that caused me to think God is using this to speak to me.

One such song was written years ago by Larnelle Harris, “I Miss My Time With You”* (Listen to the song here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCXEAIsBIf ). At that time, I had fallen away from having my quiet time with God. In some of the words in this song, we tell God that we are just too busy serving Him to take time to read His Word and pray. But He says, “How can you serve Me if your spirit is empty? There is a longing in My heart wanting more than just a part of you. It’s true, so true. I miss My time with you.” This song made me realize how very much I needed to get back to my Bible reading and prayer time to truly live for Him.

There have been other songs, but this one in particular brought me back to my time with Him and made my relationship with Him more of what it should be. Remember, if we truly want a close relationship to God, we must do our part.

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*Video courtesy of YouTube.

Week 30: Loving Correction

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{…If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in Heaven will do it for you.”–Matthew 18:19 NLT}

Not long ago, someone I “love more than my luggage” kept repeating that he was having “bad luck”. Really? You’ll be proud to know that I showed restraint in not slapping him and telling him what I was really thinking! No–I really deserve a pat on the back for this one because this guy KNOWS BETTER than to live the way he’s currently living.

Galatians 6 is full of loving advice for dealing with these situations. “Restore gently…” says Galatians 6:1, and “Carry each others’ burdens,” reminds 6:2. Nowhere in this chapter does the word “slap” appear–no matter what your impulse might be!

A few days later, the Holy Spirit gave me the words to say to my loved one, so I explained to him that “bad luck” has nothing to do with his current situation. I then gave him some helpful advice to hopefully dig himself out of his pit.

This person has been a bit aloof since, but I’ll never stop praying for him, and I know that HE KNOWS my words came from a place of love. He’s asked for prayer and says he’s praying for himself.

We all have these people in our lives. In fact, you can probably see their “bad luck” coming from a mile away. Store up a few prayers for them every time you think of them! Better yet, ask others who know the situation to pray with you.

Everyone goes through patches of disobedience–major or minor. I know I have! One day, I snapped out of it because I had people praying me through it–instead of what they really wanted to do!

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Week 29: Signals

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{Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.–Ephesians 6:7 NIV}

Yesterday I got an inappropriate hand signal from another driver who passed me apparently irritated with me for driving the speed limit in the right hand lane. I saw him in my rear view mirror in the left hand lane trying to get around the car in front of him. He kept on darting behind me and then back into the left lane. Finally, the car in the left lane went to the left turn lane and this guy sped past me, got in front of me, and proceeded to give me the hand gesture. My teenage daughter was in the front seat and asked if he really just did that and what did I do wrong? I told her what happened and she said that wasn’t fair for him to do that to me since I had done nothing wrong. That made me think…sometimes we are doing¬†everything right, but others don’t see it that way. I started a conversation with her and explained some people may think we are doing wrong, but more importantly, God sees what we are doing right in situations when others don’t. That’s what’s important–obedience and integrity. So, while I wish my daughter hadn’t seen the driver do that rude thing to me, I did thank God for giving me the opportunity to talk with her about what the world thinks and what’s really important–what we are doing in God’s name. Be Blessed!

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