>Day 4 ~ Breaking through with Kindness

>Our scripture for today is. . . .

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph. 4:29)

This is such a challenge for me, not only today, but everyday. Sarcasm is part of my daily conversation ~ it is ‘how I talk’ to pretty much. So today I am going to focus on watching every word that comes out of my mouth and make sure that what I say is only for the building up of others ~ It’s kind of like what Thumper’s Dad says “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

I will update later today and let you know how sucsessful I am . . . . hoping and praying for a good one!

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>Day 3 ~ Breaking Through and Showing Kindness

>All day long today I actually looked for ways to reach out to people. Brad and I both took the day off work (except for a few calls that I had to tend to) and we went TV shopping. I mean shopping. We went to three pawn shops (who were cleaned out because it is ‘tax time’ and military payday weekend all in one); HH Greg, Best Buy, Target, Sears, Electronics Express, Sam’s Club, and Essex and didn’t find the deal we were looking for. What a day! We drove a whole tank of gas out all over Clarksville from 1pm until 7pm when we rolled back into town to eat dinner with Chris & Leigh and Mom and Maude. We decided to go look ‘one last place’ Hopkinsville’s very own Wal-Mart. There were some other families looking at TV’s too and we found just the one we wanted in our price range. Well the other family wanted it too, and you guessed it, there was only one. We told them to go ahead because we would be fine, they were so excited that we let them have the TV. Brad & Chris decided to go ahead and drive back down to Oak Grove (around 20 minutes) to see if their walmart had this TV..The lady in electronics overheard this and called the walmart and they held the same TV for Brad. He is gone to pick it up now. That family thanked us over and over. We were so glad to give that TV up for them. It really felt good.

I was also able to pray with one of my clients today and tell him that I would continue to lift him up to the Lord. He is a great guy and has every bad thing happen to help him get his medications. He has an advocate before me that screwed his meds up and then his doctor sent the wrong prescription so instead of having a 90 day supply of meds, he only got a 30 day supply. Now he is down to six pills and may run out. Pray that he gets his meds on time because he really can’t be without them

Excited for what Day 4 will bring, hang in there with me,

Blessings,

Shelly

>Break Through ~ Day 2 & 3

>Of course, yesterday was Day 2 but I was really still focusing on day one, which in retrospect is ironic because Day to was so simple and if I had followed it yesterday as was planned, I may not have had so much trouble.

Day 2 focuses on Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

I will do day 2 and 3 today so if you are following along, sorry for throwing so much at you. Basically, speak the truth be remember we are all one body, so we need to talk to others the way we want them to talk to us, right? Sounds easy huh? It is when we focus on it but not so easy when we are angered by others.

Day 3 is Ephesians 4:28 “He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.”

Remember how we talked about how this is written to people who are already Christians. Surely we don’t steal from Wal-mart or Old Navy. If this is a struggle, we need to ask God to put our desire where they need to be. However, I think Paul is talking about something far different than that. Do we rob God of our time, do we take our time and use it to further His kingdom? I know I am guilty of this so many times. I use excuses as to why I don’t do more for God. Let’s lay aside our excuses and work for God so we can share His love with those in need. How can we do this? All it takes is a smile to a person we are in line with at Wal-mart, a simple nod of the head can start a conversation that may brighten that persons day. Maybe God will open a door at a restaurant to share your faith with a server or you can offer to pray for someone who you know is in need. Let’s open ourselves up to the opportunities that lie in front of us today.

I am confident in the Lord that I will have a testimony today of showing God’s goodness to someone else.

Blessings,

Shelly


>EPIC FAIL

>Okay,

So why did I think that breaking through would be easy. Just this morning I was writing about the new man and becoming righteous and I was tested beyond my bounds today…..as my kids would say EPIC FAIL. I did not beat it, I let the enemy get to me. I was right but my attitude was wrong, so now I have to pray for God to make me better at putting on the new man because today I did not have on the new man ~ the old one was roaring pretty loud.

So now, with a sinus headache, a new puppy, excited children (because of new puppy), and a day of not much accomplished I can assure you that when the old man wins out, there is no righteousness or true holiness in that!

Praying for my old man to go away and my new man to emerge

Shelly

>Breaking Through

>We had a great church service last night. We, as a body, are doing 21 days of Break Through. We have a scripture everyday that we are going to pray over our lives and over our families. I invite you to join me on this journey of breaking through the walls that hinder our walks with God. I am going to try and post all 21 days which in itself is a challenge for me. I pray that God gives me words for each day and that you and I can break through together. I never do this, but today I encourage you to share this blog link with your friends and family because I really feel this is going to be a good three weeks for us all.

So Today’s Scripture is: Day 1 ~ Ephesians 4:24 “And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”

As we go through these scriptures in Ephesians keep this in the front of your mind. Paul was writing to Christians. He was writing to the church at Ephesus. These books were not written to the unsaved, they were written to the churches of Paul’s day to admonish, correct, and build up their faith in their Savior.

Many of us would look at this scripture and see Paul talking to a sinner “put on the new man” become “righteous and holy”. . . but no, these scriptures are for the person who has already believed in Jesus as their Savior. Sometimes we are guilty of trying to ‘preach’ to the unbeliever some scripture that is not for them. Just like you wouldn’t feed a baby a piece of steak, there is ‘meat’ in the scripture that is for people who are further in their journey walking with God. I’m not sure why I got off on that but anyway. . . .

Putting on the new man for me is praying today for God to help me be the person he sees as my ‘finished product’. God doesn’t just see me today, as the flawed person I am, He sees me as He has perfected me over time, and He knows that the path I am walking today will bring me where He intends for me to go and for who He intends for me to be. The person God intends for me to be has so many facets but by this scripture I know that in that will encompass righteousness and true holiness.

According to Websters, Righteous means ~ Acting in accord with divine or moral law; free from guilt or sin; morally right or justified; genuine; excellent.

Help me today Lord to act according to your law. Enable me to read your word with clarity and understanding so that I will follow your path more closely. Keep me from letting sin or guilt from past sins creep into my mind because if I dwell on these things, I am moving away from your righteousness, not getting closer to it. Help me to be genuine, most of the time, I feel like I am true to who I am, no matter who I am around. Help me to not lose that but to temper it with love and excellence.

I almost didn’t talk about ‘true holiness’ and that was purposeful. . Growing up, holiness was taught to me as wearing dresses, not cutting your hair or wearing make up. Holiness was for lack of better words, a doctrine of the church I was brought up in. I had a skewed opinion of what God expects of us through our relationship with Him. I am not bashing people who believe that way, I believe there are alot of ‘holiness standard’ people who love God and serve Him. I also believe that folks that just follow what they are taught without convictions of their own, are just skimming through life and don’t know the true joys of knowing God in a deeper way.

There are two kinds of Christians and I saw them both at Wal-Mart on Saturday; I went to church with both these ladies as I was growing up. The first lady I saw in the produce aisle gave me the biggest smile and is always ready with a hug and wants to know how my family is. I am able to share with her my walk with God and I am so blessed that while we don’t dress the same or go to the same church, this girl knows I love Jesus and she not for one minute thought to herself, this girl is not ready for heaven because she doesn’t dress like me. Not for one minute did her eyes or her heart judge me.

Three aisle over, as I was exiting the canned goods aisle, a buggy bumped into mine. I looked up and gave the same smile for a different lady. This lady glanced me up and down and said in the first two sentences, “So are you going to church?”. . Wow, see, I shared the same events with this lady and I could see the whole time she was thinking ~ “well, your not saved like me”. . . but I have news for her. Holiness is something you should see on the outside. You should see it on someone’s countenance that they are sold out to their Savior. You should see in them that God is in the middle of all their circles and that they are at the center of His will. You see God’s holiness on someone’s spirit, not their clothes.

I have come to love ‘true holiness’ because that is when we allow our relationship with God to lead us in the path that He wants us to go. True holiness gives a liberty in Christ that we can’t find anywhere else. To know that a Holy Savior bled and died on a cross so that I might be saved is such an awe inspiring thing. The dictionary tells us that Holy means~ exalted or worthy of complete devotion as one perfect in goodness and righteousness; divine; devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. This last one sums up where I want my walk with God to be; Devoted entirely to the deity or the work of the deity. If we are putting on the new man, God will chip away the old one for the new one to immerge victorious over the things that keep us from being devoted entirely to Him.

I’m gonna be real transparent hear and talk about something I have seen God change in me over the last two years. I know I have a long way still to go, but hey, we need to show some progress.

Two years ago, I had a bad habit of what my family and friends call, the F Bomb….yep, I said it alot! Alot, Alot! I actually cussed alot in general, but the F Bomb was my go to word when I was really angry. As my walk with God increased, I found myself using it less and less. If I found myself using it more, I knew I had not been seeking the face of God like I should. Why on earth would I tell you I used to love to cuss? Because we all have struggles. We all have those things that no one who knows us on the surface would expect of us. Who knows you yell at your husband and kids or that you are addicted to pornagraphy or that you struggle to get up in the morning because you are so depressed or that you eat normally in front of folks but go in the bathroom and throw up afterward? Not many people know the things we keep hidden but God sees it all and He knows it all and the best part is, He knows we can change for the better because He sees the perfect us, that we will be as we continue to put on the new man, to pray and become closer to him, to be more righteous and walk in true holiness.

Blessings,

Shelly

>Purposeful or Perfect?

>What do I lives really matter in the big scheme of things. What purpose are we here for? Of course, for me, our ultimate purpose as Christians is to show forth Christ through our lives and lead others to him.

But what does that really mean? For me, that means being myself but letting God shine through that, which is not always easy for Him to do because I still have too much of me and need more of Him. Too many people, just as I have before, put on a ‘the christian walk’, we act like a christian for certain people and are truly ourselves with other people. God wants us to be who we are, but striving to be who He is. Then, even when we are not perfect, others can still see Him and know that God takes imperfect people.

In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, For they shall be filled.” It is so important to strive after perfection but it is a just as important to know that we are not! Paul was talking to the Phillipian church when he said “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. (Phillipians 3:14) Paul knew that he wasn’t perfect, but that didn’t keep him from striving in that direction.

If non-believers only see the ‘perfect’ Christians, how are they going to feel comfortable being one. They know they are not perfect so why would Christ accept them? It is not our job to be perfect. It is our job to show the love of Christ to a sinful world so that they are drawn by that. This then will open doors to share what Jesus has done and is still doing in our lives. There is a tired saying “we are the only Jesus some will ever see” but it is true. There are some people who would never step in the door of the church so when we bump their cart at Wal-Mart and apologize with a smile, that may be the only church they see. When we are waited on in a restaurant and the waitress overhears ALL of our conversation, did she hear Jesus in any of it? Or did she just see people like her?

Let’s take a minute and remember today what our purpose is in this life. Sure, we want to provide more for our kids than we had. Sure, we want to be comfortable financially. Sure, we want to get a new puppy. These things are all good and wonderful but our real purpose is what matters in the end. Not that we appeared ‘perfect’ but that we walked with a purpose.

Blessings!

Shelly

>Frustration and Inner Struggle

>Have you ever had a day that no matter what you try to accomplish, things go awry? That is what today is like. So, I headed to the Word to settle my spirit and be able to focus on my day. .

Frustration is by definition ~ A feeling of disappiontment or defeat at being unable to accomplish one’s purpose

Why does this happen? Looking back on my morning, I know I did not start with the vital tools to make any day a success. The kids missed the bus and I had to run them to school and I never settled back in for time with Jesus before my day got it’s start. For me, there is such a difference when I don’t start my day with the Lord. What does that mean really? Does that mean 45 minutes of prayer? Does that mean reading 2 Chapters in my Bible? No, not at all.

It is so simple. Waking up and just talking to God and thanking Him for another day, talking to Him about what is happening in your world today. Does He know this stuff already, sure He does. But what matters is that we take the time to include Him.

How much do we want to help someone else when they don’t include us? How much time do we have for others when they have time for all their other friends, and shopping and internet but none for us. How is God different from that? Sure He is a God of love and of mercy but the Bible teaches us He is also jealous of our time and our love and our hearts. Some times frustration comes about just so we will stop and realize what our priorities are so we can refocus and go the direction our hearts need to go.

Phillipians 4:6,7 Says : Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ.

So, now, this moment, at noon instead of 8 a.m. I am reminded that these last four hours of frustration could have been avoided by simply relying on the one who wants to “keep my heart and mind”; I am reminded that if i ‘bring everything to God in prayer and with Thanksgiving that He will hear me and give me Peace”.

So, today, this is my prayer:
Jesus, give me peace for this day and give me direction for my feet and help me to look around and see this sudden growth as a blessing and to implement ways to nurture it and help me to not go crazy in the process because Your word says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, ” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Allow me to rely on your words and not my own. Thank you so much for your love and patience with a silly girl who puts too much stock in herself sometimes and thank you for my wonderful supportive family you have blessed me with. I know from the scripture in Jeremiah that you see my future so I have no need to worry over, so forgive me when I do, sometimes I am just not quite there yet in my faith, which I have learned, breeds frustration. Talk to you soon!

Shelly