What Every Woman Should Know

Everywoman roses

 

Everywoman should know how to cry, laugh, and listen

Crying is beautiful, listening is a way to be there for another person,

and laughing is the best remedy for any aliment

Everywoman should know that timing is everything,

You may not be ready for your husband or your husband

may not be ready for you, so you should be patient

There is no perfect husband so don’t wait too long

It is better to have loved, and even lost, then never to have loved at all.

Everywoman should know that a house is not their foundation

it is the people in the house that matters the most, you can lose your

home and replace it, but if you lose your husband, daughter, or

faith your foundation will be shaken

Everywoman should know that everything that happens is for a

purpose, and every struggle makes us stronger, it’s an opportunity to

become better, but if you are not careful about your perspective you

can become bitter, so always choose to see struggles as an

opportunity to grow

Everywoman should know that happy people are kind, and unhappy

individuals are capable of hurting others due to the fact that they

are hurting inside, when others criticize you it is more about them,

then it is so much about you, so take it with a grain of salt

Everywoman should know that money cannot buy happiness, being

true to yourself and your values will always bring a return that is

immeasurable

Everywoman should know that friends are as priceless as gold,

cherish your friends, they are also like

wine they get better as each year continues

Everywoman should know that popularity will fade with time, but a

true friend will last a lifetime, don’t neglect your true friends

Everywoman should know everyone makes mistakes and no one is

perfect, so we should always forgive and forget, when we have been

hurt deeply forgiveness may take time, but time does heal all

wounds

Everywoman should know that the grass is not always greener on the

other side of the fence, although there may be some woman that

have it better, there is always someone who has it worse, so be

thankful for what you have, and count your blessings every day

Everywoman should know that mistakes are as never bas as the way

we make them to be, ask yourself this question the next time you

make a mistake in the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

Everywoman should know that balance is the key to peace, never feel

like you have to do the most, never do the least, but try to be

somewhere in the middle

Everywoman should know that people will never remember what you

said, but they will always remember how you made them feel when

you said it, so speak the truth in love

Everywoman should know that ignorance is bliss, try to make

yourself ignorant sometimes so you can enjoy life, don’t worry about

everything, allow others to help you, and remember to only take one

day at a time, and rest at least one day out of the week

Everywoman should know that it is better to take risks then to live

with regret, if you have an opportunity to fulfill a dream you may

not have that opportunity tomorrow, so see every moment as a gift

and take an opportunity when you have the chance, once an

opportunity is gone…it’s gone

     Linking up with: The Weekend Brew , Testimony Tuesday, and Coffee for Your heart.

 

I lift my eyes up to the mountains

I lift my eyes5

 Summer is a time for resting, rejuvenating, and rejoicing!

Children are out of school. Families and friends come together in fellowship. Many of us take a vacation. Summer is special to me. As a teacher, I am able to rest, restore, and rebuild my spirit after a whirlwind of hard work throughout the year. Once the school-year ends, rest and rejuvenation begins.

One of my favorite ways to rejuvenate is to go camping. I love the mountains. I love spending time in the great outdoors, sleeping in tents, roasting marshmallows for s’mores over a warming campfire, telling ghost stories as the fire dies. This summer, my family and I found a spot right next to small creek.  Nothing beats listening to the bubbling water of a creek near the campsite as I sit and relax, enjoying the crisp, clean air.

It doesn’t matter where your special place is as long as you get there and rest, relax and rejuvenate.

         Psalm 121:1-8

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
  My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

  He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
  indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

  The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
 the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121, was especially on my mind as I spent time in those wonderful majestic mountains. This Psalm reminds me of when I was in high school. I was on the swim team, and I would have to be at the pool by dawn. It wasn’t always easy because the water was cold in the mornings. But when I swam the backstroke on those misty mornings, I would look up into the gorgeous sky and sing, quietly in my head, a song inspired from this Psalm. It strengthened my mind as I mediated continually on these verses.

Many years have passed since then, but I still meet Him in the morning. Nowadays, with a warm cup of coffee in my hand. I read a chapter in the bible and pray for safety, discernment, and help throughout the day. In my youth I knew where my help came from. Today I still do. My help comes from higher than the mountains. God dwells on high and He  is able to abundantly meet our needs. He does exceedingly more than we could ever ask or think  (Ephesians 3:20). feet from slipping  Do you remember the story where Peter was walking on water?

He was able to walk onto the water but when we took his eyes of Jesus he began to sink (Matthew 14:22-33). I know right? This lesson is something we all need to learn from. We need to keep are eyes on “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:2)

He is the one that can help us. He is the one that created each of us. He knows every hair on our head, and he holds each tear that we shed in a bottle (Psalms 56:8). He is full of compassion and rich in love.

God is intricately involved in our lives. So much so that he promises that our feet will not slip if he does not permit it. His grace is unending. We are watched and cared for and God sees us as the apple of His eye. We shouldn’t seize to look up and recognize that our help comes from the Lord above.

The Lord watches over you

Yahweh watches over us. We shouldn’t fear the wind, rain, or sun because God promises to protect us, “the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.”  If it is not His will for us, it will not be permitted in our lives. When we do go through seasons of sorrow — when we feel faint of spirit– it is only for our good.

Psalms 30:5  tells us “weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.”

We don’t always know the end results but God does: “For all things work together for good for those that are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) river treesv4 As I walk this road called life, I can breathe freely knowing that whatever path I may take God watches over me. He is an ever-present help in times of trouble. His promises are undeniable. His aim is to keep us from harm. What a peace we have in Jesus. What rest we can enter into the dwelling place of the Lord most high knowing that we are safe now and forever more.

Psalms 91:1-2 tells us,

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord,

“He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

What is even more astounding than his protection is that he wants us to experience life abundantly (John 10:10).  God’s desire is more than just provision, He wants us to “soar on wings of eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint.” Eagle Soaring

   Isaiah 40:28-31

 Do you not know?  Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary  and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;  but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

 Wow. I am reminded by just how much God loves me. He wants nothing but the best for me. I can hope in him because he wants to restore me. His plans are for me to be stronger, wiser, and be renewed. There is no higher name than Jesus. We are told in the book of Philippians 2:10-11, “that ever tongue will confess and every knee will bow.”

If you don’t know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, might you say a prayer to invite him into your life? Jesus says, he stands at the door and knocks and he will enter into your heart and life when you invite him in (Revelations 3:20). There is no better place to be than in the presences and protection of Jesus. If you would like to invite him into your life, this is a simple prayer you can pray..

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I know that I am a sinner saved by grace. Please forgive me of my sin and enter into my life. I receive everything you have for me. I offer up my life to you. Please help me to live for you and to turn from my sin. 

 Amen.

If you sincerely asked God to come into your life, then you have begun your personal relationship with Him. He has come into your heart and will guide you through the Holy Spirit that now dwells inside of you. I would suggest getting involved in a Bible-based church. Your new journey in Christ will allow you to learn His will for you. Aside from fellowship with other believers, it is important to pray and read your bible daily. Below are a few verses that show God’s promises to you:

” That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” 

(Romans 10:9)

 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

(John 3:16)  

As we continue to find rest this summer, may we remember to look up and know for certain where our help comes from.

Linking up with: Testimony Tuesday, RaRa Linkup, Tuesday Talk, Coffee for Your Heart, and The Weekend Brew.

    

A Single Act of Kindness

Kindness

What does it cost to be kind?

In a world full of hurt sometimes it may feel as though we can’t make a difference.

But we can!

Love suffers long and is kind…

kindness2

 

The love and generosity from our heart is an unending resource that we can tap into every day. As we are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit we can be a sweet smelling aroma as we interact with one another in a world that is without hope apart from God.

What does it cost to be kind? Of course, the answer is nothing. In a fast paced world  filled with busy schedules–including phone calls, emails, twitter accounts, and texts–have we forgotten the importance  of kindness amongest strangers?

Do we ignore the people around us at the grocery store, laundry mat, and even, dare I say, bible study? Do we do this because we are glued to our cell phones, tablets and other technology?

Life is not about rushing from one task to the next. But it is about enjoying the people and places we are at in at the moment.

How can we unwrap God’s gift of the present if we are worried about tomorrow or we are stuck in the past.

light of the world

Life is so much sweeter when we choice to open our eyes and interact with one another. Jesus said:

“I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (John 14:6 )

Every day we have a choice to wear a smile on our face and to be a light that shines. Whether that means asking someone about their day and truly meaning it or helping a homeless man or woman on the street. However small or big the act of kindness may be it is always seen in God’s eyes.

God says, “We are the light of the world. ” (Matthew 5: 14)  God is calling us to be his ambassadors for good. Sometimes we might not even know what that could mean.But in every way I know that it does mean to choose to be kind.

In the mist of the darkness if our words could be used to help someone who is faint of heart or is losing hope, we have done a beautiful deed unto the Lord.

Beauty lies in many shapes and forms. For example, we perceive beauty through all of our senses, like feeling the sun on our face, hearing the rippling water in a clear creek, and smelling the pleasant aroma of flowers. Yet, what is just as beautiful as God’s natural creations surrounding us, are you and I.

We were made for community. We were never  meant to travel alone through valleys and mountaintops–highs and lows. In the cities that we live, and the places that we go, we were made to be part of something bigger than ourselves.

People, were what mattered to God, and that is what should matter to us too. He invested his time in people not material items but eternal matters. Because our relationships are not jut meant for this lifetime but for eternity.

Jesus had compassion  for people. He was not only interested in the spiritual well-being of others, but their physical and emotional needs too.

In the gospel of Matthew, God performs a miracle by feeding 5,000 people. It also says that he was “moved with compassion”  (Matthew 14:14). I think we all have the power to perform a miracle. Jesus shows us that by taking five loaves of bread and two fish, from a small  boy, and making something more. Jesus thanked God for this small amount of food and then a miracle accord. There baskets were overflowing with food. The bible tells us that after everyone ate,  twelve baskets of food were left over.

Ephesians 3:20 tells us, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”  Just like the miracle of feeding 5,000 people from a small amount of fish and bread, God can do great things in, and through, us if we place our faith in him.

Don’t ever doubt that you might be the miracle that someone needs today.

We should open our heart and mind to the opportunities that God might have prepared for us to show a simple act of kindness.

We may not be able to feed 5,000 people but we can feed one.

We may not be able to lend an ear to all our friends and family, but we can listen with patience and understanding sometimes.

We may not be a newscaster on television speaking to an audience of millions, but we can make a difference even if its to an audience of one.

Pity is defined in Webster’s dictionary as:  A strong feeling of sadness or sympathy for someone or something.

Empathy  is defined  in Webster’s dictionary: As the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions.

Do you see the difference? When we pity someone we may know just enough about their situation or plight to feel sadness, but it doesn’t necessary move us to action– but  the word empathy  does.

We all feel pity in some degree watching the news, a neighbor, a friend, a co-worker, or family member. But it is not enough. We need to get involved. Empathy  is sharing another person’s experience when we are up close and personal, instead of standing at a distance.

When we have empathy we understand  another person’s situation. And this often prompts us to make a difference on their behalf by acting in a positive manner. You never know where someone has been until you have walked a mile in their shoes. Don’t just assume they are just fine. Speak life into their heart and  mind by being their  friend even if it only for a moment.

The bible says in 2 Chronicles 16:9:

For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him that the Lord looks to and fro looking for someone that he can use on his behalf.”

So often we think of sin as an act that we commit against God or another, which is absolutely true. However, we don’t discuss enough the sin of omission. That means when we fail to do what we know we should– this is a sin as well. Simply put, if we see someone going through hard times and we can do something to help and we don’t, we are sinning.

It’s a lot to think about. It’s enough to make me remember that I was made for a purpose–to love and serve others. God  want to use us!  He wants us to take part in good works because when we bless others we are blessed too. He wants us to experience love through helping others. And allowing us the opportunity to be the miracle in another person’s life.

My plan is to try  not to pass up the opportunity to be kind, because I  just don’t know the impact I might have on someone’s life. And, I believe that I might even be the miracle that someone has been praying and waiting for.

Whoever says that they don’t have the power to change the world…has never tried. We can with one kind act at a time.

Do you have the power to change the world? Sure you do. Even if you make a difference in one person’s life you have made the world a better place for both you and I.

The Gift of Friendship

“All Our Memories are God’s Most Precious Gifts of a Life Lived but Once.”

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tear-jerking, action packed movie with cars that parachute out of an airplane and a finale that gives homage to Paul Walker.

With Fast and Furious 6 leaving Dominic Torretto, Letty Ortiz, Brain O’ Connor and the rest of the team with a clean record, it’s hard to believe that they could be back in serious danger again. But, what would a Fast and Furious film be without all of the explosive excitement of that signature, seat of your pants car crashing, street fighting, and street racing style that these films are known for.

Early in the story, Brian O’ Connor is seen driving his son to daycare in a minivan and living a quiet life in a suburban neighborhood (white picket fence and all). Everything seems to be comfortable and sweet until the battle is brought to his own front door when a package arrives with a bomb inside and explodes on his doorstep. Without question he and his friends know they are being hunted…

Thus, the decision is made, after attending a funeral for their brother and friend, Han, to find and defeat this common enemy, Shaw.

Is it worth this dangerous masquerade, where injury, harm, or even death my be immanent? This group of friends seems to think so, each knowing it could only be a matter of time before each one of them would be hunted and killed.

All united for the same goal to protect the ones they love: Family.

Webster’s dictionary defines family as: A group of people who are related to each other.

This movie illustrates a different scenario. A group of independent individuals that chose to come together to love and protect each other out of the genuine care and concern for one another.

Let’s be real for a moment. Can’t family–our relatives–be hard to get along with?

My answer to this question is a resounding: Yes! What do you think?

I know that I have struggled with the dilemma of wanting to be loved by family members only to be disappointed. Families can be dysfunctional–meaning they are unable to operate together.

There are  number of reasons this could be true. One reason families members can be combative is sometimes personalities do not go together. Also, jealously is all too common for siblings, and instead of songs like “togetherness” from the well known family movie The Parent Trap — sibling rivalry breaks out. Parents can become overwhelmed sometimes working two jobs. Divorce may break a family apart. Or more darker demons such as drugs, alcohol, and abuse may be causing friction.

What does that leave us to with when are family isn’t supportive do to any of those reasons or something else?

What is so unique and true to life is the relationship that Dominic Torretto, Brian O’ Conner, Letty Ortiz and the rest of the crew have is that they are not related by blood, but they treat each other as family. In the movie Fast and Furious 7, each of the members were capable of taking care of themselves. Their skills of racing cars, and strength in street fighting shines through. But they new they were stronger as a team. And that together they were going to have a lot more fun, too.

May I suggest, just as this close group of friends in the movie found a family through a strong bond of friendship, that, if our own family is lacking a healthy support system, you consider those around you as potential friends that may become like family, too.

Our heavenly father has placed certain people in our lives to fill the roles that perhaps a family member cannot. The people that God has placed around us can be just the gift we have needed, but we just haven’t unwrap the paper to see the beauty that lies inside.

Friendship

The gift of friendship brings so much happiness  to our lives as our joys are doubled and our sorrows are cut in half.  We never know who could be a friend that adds such depth and happiness to our life. There are so many wonderful people surrounding us each and everyday. Isn’t it worth meeting and getting to know others by saying more then a simple hello and goodbye?

Proverbs 24:18: 

“A man who has friends must himself be friendly,

But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

When we open are hearts to others we may just find that they were the family you were missing this whole time. And while you are waiting for a friend or close group of friends to have fun with and to share each others joys and burdens. May I encourage you by saying that  our hope is in Jesus because He tells us “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18)  And this friend he speaks of is none other than himself.

If I have Jesus as my friend, and everyone else has chosen to betray me, I would still be fulfilled and I would still rejoice.  Because sometimes just one true friend is all you really need.   And if you have been waiting for a support system whether from friends or family  and Jesus is that one true friend– for however long a time that may be– than you are blessed to have the Maker of the Universe be your friend!

As Christians we are also members of a group or “Body of Christ. I have meet some of my closet friends in church and often have felt that these friends have supported me in good times and bad. It is not good to be alone we can become isolated and open to attack from others because there isn’t anyone near that has our back.

Ecclesiastes 4:10:

“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
 For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,”

Although we may not be fighting a battle quite like the one we see in the movie Fast in the Furious Seven. We are fighting a spiritual battle, the bible tells us that “Satan walks around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”  ( 1 Peter 5:8) We may not always see this battle, but there is a spiritual dimension and a battle against good and evil.

Ephesians 6: 12  says,” For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Knowing this as a family of Christ we need to stick together. Walking with Christ daily and allowing our unique gift and talents to bind together as one. Bill Welch described  the body of Christ “like a tapestry of different colors and different gifts.  If somehow we let God move, He can take all the different colors and blend them together to make something outrageously beautiful and helpful to sharpen. So He can cut through the darkness …” (1 Corinthians 12).

We all  face dark times and if we have no one to turn to it is disheartening. But if we continue to surround ourselves with good friends and Christian believers then as a unit or body of Christ we can overcome.

Friendship is a precious gift that cannot be bought in a store. Is there anyone that you can be a better friend to today or is there anyone you may need to reach out to  get to know? I know I need to make an effort daily to better get to know my co-workers and people I may meet. Although I may think I don’t have the time to talk and chat, things always seem to work out for the good, and in the end I don’t regret it because the return is immeasurable.

John 15:13:

 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” 

Linking up with: WholeHearted HomeTell His Story, Women with Intention Wednesday, Coffee for Your Heart, Testimony Tuesday, and Word Filled Wednesday.

You can’t take it with you–Your stuff !

moneyandhappiness2

So often we chase after an allusive monetary value that we think will bring us happiness. A higher salary translates into the possibility that we can: Buy a new boat, new clothes and accessories, go on fabulous vacations, or perhaps remodel our home from top to bottom. The list could go on and on…you can fill in the blank with whatever you choose.

The truth is that all the riches in the world can’t buy us joy, peace, patience,  goodness, and love. A new thing can bring excitement, and a little bit of happiness, but those previous attributes are what makes life fully satisfying.

Money does not buy happiness, but being true to yourself and your values will always bring a return that is immeasurable.

confessions_of_a_shopaholic 1

http://quotetoremember.blogspot.com/2014/01/ confessions-of-shopaholic-2009.html

Recently,  I watched the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic.  It is a relatable and comical movie. The vivacious character Rebecca Bloomwood played by, Isla Fisher, has a problem with shopping.  And buying on credit– which your probably guessed by the title of the movie. Her debt becomes a rather nagging problem with an intense debt collector who is expecting Rebecca to pay a surmountable amount of money accumulated by her excessive use of credit cards.

Her character is easy to sympathize with… Let’s face it, we all like to shop, and while shopping, we acquire stuff, and sometimes far to much stuff. At the time, we convince ourselves that we must have it. Similar to Rebecca, I have gotten my fair amount of calls from debt collectors and it doesn’t feel good. It is hard to live within your means when every store window, store ad, and commercial is telling you: Yes, you should buy this.

Buying what we need and what we want in proper moderation is hard! My husband and I are currently in the process  of paying as much as we can to eliminate credit card debt. And to not buy things that we don’t need.

Its understandable and relatable that the character of Rebecca Bloomwood wants to feel good about herself and clothes and new accessories will do that momentarily. But the problem is– as Rebecca finds out– to keep this expensive habit she has to lie to her employee, her debt collector,  her friends, and her family.

But the biggest lie she had to tell  was to herself. She believed that she needed these clothes and accessories to make her happy. All it brought was problems, loss of relationships and emotional despair (due to the debt). She lied to herself about what the true definition of happiness is. So often we do this as well…

Money does not buy you happiness. And stuff does not by you happiness either. When Rebecca Bloomwood tries to explain why she shops she has an unsettling response.

Because when I shop the world gets better. The world is better. And then it’s not anymore. And I need to do it again.” (Rebecca Bloomwood, Confessions of a Shopaholic http://quotetoremember.blogspot.com/2014/01/ confessions-of-shopaholic-2009.html .)

Rebecca, finally does resolve her credit debt. With so many high fashion clothes and accessories, she decides to have a sale with her clothes as the merchandise. With help from her family and friends, the sale is a success and she is set free from the bondage of her credit card debt because with her sales money she is finally able to pay off the debt.

The bible tells us  that we are to,

… lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,   looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God  (Hebrews 12 1-2).

We need to let go of every sin, or bondage, if we want to live in the freedom of Christ. We are not equipped to or asked to suffer the way Jesus did on this earth, but we each have our own cross to bear. And that struggle may be an addiction of some sorts, and not necessarily with shopping. It could be drugs and alcohol ,pornography, unhealthy eating habits( you can be addicted to food). Whatever the sin is, it can trap or ensnares us and we need Jesus to help us break free. Our time on earth is finite, so lets run our race well. This includes me too… I have several addictions that I need to break free of myself.

Rebecca Bloomwood is such a relatable character because we all struggle with letting go of the items or possessions that we have acquired.

The things that we acquire in life are nice but they do not define us. They may feel as though they  are an extension of our emotions, character and hopes and dreams. But this is not true it is just an allusion. It is just stuff. And these items have an  expiration date…at some point they will become out of fashion, broken, torn, unworn, and unwanted or unneeded. The things in life will always decay grow old damaged and worn. Just as we grow old these things we own die too, but….

 

richestmoments

 The richest moments in life may come when we are poor in income but strong in wisdom, friendship, and love.

The bible says, “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter into heaven” (Matthew 19:24).

The conversation was that the rich man asked what was required of him to enter into heaven. And Jesus wanted him to sell what he had and use the money to help the poor. The rich man walked away sad because he could not do this.

Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.  You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ” And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me. ”But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich (Luke 18:22-24).

Those that do inherited riches and wealth in this lifetime have a hard path to navigate. Because sin so easily ensnares us and we live in a world that is infatuated with images to make us believe we need more stuff. This story is so sad but true. We see it daily.  The rich man was unable to let go of his earthly wealth to gain true wealth and happiness and eternal life in God’s kingdom.

He was unable to look beyond the here and now because God was offering him treasures in heaven. And how often do we do the same. Our perception remains limited to the here and now and we forget where our treasure should lie.treasuresinheavenorg

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.   For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6-19-20).

More important than buying clothes and accessories, electronic devices, trinkets, and gadgets –which are all earthly treasures– the bible tells us that we should lay up treasures in heaven where moths and rust can’t destroy them. But the good deeds that we do for our family and friends will last for eternity. These types of treasures have value of immeasurable worth because these acts of kindness carry on into eternity. In other words they will last forever.

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The problem with laying up treasures on earth is that they will never really satisfy. And so often the things we buy today becomes tomorrow’s junk. If it’s clothes it gets worn, torn, and eventually may end up as a rag to dust with. Or the stuff that we buy may end up in a pile of junk in our garage.

God has been laying on my heart the importance of storing up treasures in heaven and not worrying about the stuff that I have acquired, because, quite frankly, we can’t take it with us. The things that we acquire in life are nice but they do not define us. As I have been working on going through items in my kitchen, bedroom, and living room etc. I have been finding that I have so many things that I no longer use or need. And  when I packed it all up and gave it to goodwill, I was not only helping someone else, but also myself.  Because it is not good to have too much clutter in your house.  By having less, I feel I am more blessed. Because now I have less clutter and less mess. And peace of mind knowing that I am trying to give to others the things that I don’t use.

The bible tells us “It is better to give than receive”  (Acts 21).

We all have a moral compass and doing the right thing even when it is not in your best interest will bring you happiness as it builds character. In fact, often selflessness, the opposite of materialism, is what makes us happy.  I am always blessed when I am able to do for others. First, I have to take care of myself, my house, my family. But in times when God has been generous to me and I am able to give to others–I feel a very special glow of happiness.

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Furthermore, Luke 14-12-14  states:

He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

This verse is a reminder to not just do good to my family, friends, and co-workers who are able to recipicate. But to help the poor and those who are disabled and unable to repay because that is the will of God. Jesus tells us that that even if we give a glass of cold water to another in His name, that we will be rewarded.

And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward  ( Matthew 10:42).

All the money in the world can not compare to a life knowing the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. How do we know Him? We can spend time in his word and spend time in prayer throughout the day.  I need his grace to help my perception each and everyday. Knowing that my life is but a vapor (James 4:14).  I will try to fix my eyes more on “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

We all know that we can’t take anything with us when we die.  Our stuff will be left behind. And when we die our bodies will remain,  but our spirit will be risen and we will be given new bodies in heaven.  However, our relationships with one another will remain. And the good deeds we have done will have eternal value. My prayer is that God would continue to mold and shape me, as He is the potter and I am the clay, so that I can reflect his Son more each and everyday (Jeremiah 18:6).

 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love (1 Corinthians 13:12- 13) .

While on this earth we will not have the perception to see clearly. We don’t always realize what is important and what is not. But when we get to heaven we will see clearly. And what will be the most important attribute to have in heaven is love. “Love covers a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8). It is our entryway into heaven. “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whoever would believe should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). 

 

Linking up with Holley Gerth’s Coffee for your heart

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Music to Soothe the Soul

The song “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong comforts me much like a warm and fuzzy coat on a cold winter day. I am refreshed by the calmness and stillness that the song  brings forth, like the sound of soft bubbling waters in a brook. It feels inviting and soulful. The song opens with a majestic sound from the trombone accompanied by the piano and clarinet. The audience is overjoyed  which is apparent from the overwhelming  applause. After just a few breathtaking notes, they  know that they are about to hear something truly special. It is pure joy. Life is so sweet through the voice of Louis Armstrong. His depiction sends a message of hope, love, and friendship. It truly resonates with ones heart, mind, and soul.

 What Wonderful World

by: Louis Armstrong

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world. I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I wish I  could say that I had this vision for the world. I don’t always see people and places in this genuinely lovely light.  As he sings “The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky/ Are also on the faces of people going by …” we get a picture of his loving nature towards others.

I love his analogy comparing the colors of the rainbow  to people in the world. It’s  truly astonishing.  To me it means that just like each color has its own strength and personality, he feels that same warmth and expectation in the people that he meets in passing everyday. His lyrics put me to shame, because I don’t see people in shades of color.( Or, in other words, as unique individuals that I am eager to greet and  meet).

 I admit that I often see people stereotypically…or in “black and white.” They are one-dimensional at best.  And I don’t intend to meet their acquaintance.  On a good day, I could say that I see others in gray, which means I am not stereotyping–but I am not operating in love either.

In Matthew 22: 37 -39 God calls us as believers to “Love the lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind.” And to “Love are neighbor as our self.” This was Jesus’s response when asked what the greatest commandment was to fulfill the law. It’s amazing to think that “on these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

As I listen to the lyrics in this song, I have a better understanding of how to love God and love others. I can appreciate what God has given me, as Louis does describing  “trees of green, red roses too,”  “skies of blue and clouds of white, ” and ” dark sacred nights.” And I can look for opportunities to show goodness to my neighbor even if it just means showing love by passing by  and simple saying  a genuine “hello” and” how are you.” Just as it is  suggested in the lyrics, “I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do/ They’re really saying I love you.”

Love is often spoken of but not demonstrated, articulated well, or understood.  Yet, in this song, I know what love should look like. The message of love is so crystal clear.

But  the best description of love is described in  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

I hope and pray that I can learn to love like this. “Love never fails” because it is necessary for heaven. In heaven our lives will be without suffering and hurting, and we will no longer in need of things such as knowledge, faith, and hope. But we will need love. Because heaven is a real place and we need to be a people of love when we reside past heaven’s gate. The song “What a Wonderful World” shows me a glimmer of what love looks like and through these lyrics I see a small slice of heaven.

“And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

I Corinthians 13:13

Flowers Bloom with Love, Peace, and Joy

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As my husband and I placed the finishing touches on our living room, I stepped backed and felt relieved. It was finally done. The remodeling project had taken more time than originally anticipated. So today, my plans were to do something creative with the outside of my house. And I decided to work in the flower garden.

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Happy to be outside for a change–instead of smelling freshly primed paint–I breathed in the smell of Lilac flowers. After wandering through Lowes, I finally decided on Lilac, a lavender scented flower with purple and rose tinted petals. As I planted the Lilac flowers in my newly soiled planter, I began to smile as the beauty of the flowers brought a laughter to my heart. I suppose you could say this was joy. I know that my planter has been empty for at least one to two years now. And for this same time or season there has not been much joy in my heart or in my home. But things are changing for the better.

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I am happy that through the grief and through the struggles, I am know able to rest and truly have peace and love  in my heart, which has not always been the case.

Rejoicing in this new day…

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