Monday, August 18, 2014

Whatever Is Negative, Whatever Is Positive

Do you know what one of the most annoying words in the English language is? WHATEVER! Can you hear it in your head right now? Maybe used in frustration - "WHAT-EVER!!!"- emphasis on both syllables.Or maybe you're picturing a teen rolling their eyes & grumbling "what-EV-rrr." And it can also be a very hurtful word when words, ideas, etc., are being dismissed & so is the person.

There's also the older version of "whatever". Do you remember "Whatever floats your boat". Used over & over, this too can become very annoying. But generally, it was not used in a stern, negative far as i can remember. 
Or, if you are a country music fan, you might remember The Statler Brothers & their humorous love song.:

Statler Brothers

I'll give you
Whatever bangs your shutter,
Whatever melts your butter,
Whatever, whatever pops your corn,
Or blows your horn.
Whatever peels your banana,
Whatever plays your piano,
Whatever, whatever mows your lawn.
Let's go on.

Whatever it takes to make it better for you,
Whatever it takes to make you happy, I'll do.

Whatever lights your candle,
Whatever turns your handle,
Whatever, whatever fries your chicken.
Let's do a little pickin'.


Whatever cocks your pistol,
Whatever toots your whistle,
Whatever, whatever sails your boat,
Or gets your goat.

Whatever plows your garden,
Whatever begs your pardon,
Whatever, whatever bakes your bread.
Let's go ahead.

Whatever you want, you can always count on me.
Whatever you need, you know I will always be.

Whatever slays your dragon,
Whatever paints your wagon,
Whatever it takes to show your stuff,
That's enough

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me (Paul), or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
Philippians 4:8-9 (NIV)

Probably, Paul would not agree that "whatever" was one of the most annoying words. Instead, he wrote that "whatever" was a word that summed up all the good things in life. And he instructed to use the word in considering all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Then he finished with the instruction to think about these wonderful qualities & put them into practice. In return, you will receive God's peace.

How do you use the word "whatever"?  I admit that i have used this word in an annoying way - a negative way. But have you ever thought that "whatever" can present us with a spiritual opportunity? We can use "whatever" as a dismissing - i'm going to ignore you, your ideas, you - etc. Instead, how about turning "whatever" to the positive side by looking for the positive side of people & circumstances. The choice is up to each one of us. 

One way to apply the positive side, is to make a list of things that are excellent & praiseworthy gifts from God... books, music, family, friends, etc. Then reflect on how these things enrich your life. Then think about your annoyances - or "whatevers" in your life. Ask God to help you to replace the annoyances with the thoughts of  "whatever" is lovely.

I think last night - or should i say early this morning, God was preparing me for this post today. I usually wake up when my pain pill wears off & that happened about 1:15 or so this morning. I got up, took another pill, went to the bathroom & came back to my recliner/bed. And, as usual, wasn't sure if i would be able to go back to sleep. When i can't get back to sleep in about an hour, i usually think "whatever" & get up. But last night, in my mind, i was singing, "Heaven came down & glory filled my soul. When at the cross, my savior made me whole.....". I don't remember exactly where in the song that i fell back to sleep. I just know that a negative "whatever" was turned into a positive "whatever".

(Today's post is dedicated to my friend Chris. She knows why.)

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Want What We Want When We Want It.....BUT....

As humans, we do tend to want what we want, when we want it. It's true! We sometimes grow impatient. So, we try to get it by ourselves, rather than wait on help, & things turn out bad. That has happened to me more times that i can remember.

Many of us are asking God for help, in many ways. We do our best to wait patiently for His perfect timing. But in the back of our mind, we sometimes think, maybe i should just go for it. Do you realize that when you don't wait for God's answer, you are doubting  Him? Not trusting Him? We really CAN trust that God is working on our behalf & has our best interest in mind.  Is there something that you feel, that if you could have  it in you life right now, your life would be so much Better? (If only____.)

There are times with prayers that God seems to answer "no"....or at the very least "not now". For me, right now, i'm waiting on having my second hip replacement surgery. When i first saw my orthopedist, i had to wait 6 weeks for my surgery. So, when i go back in to have my stitches out, two weeks after surgery, i knew i wanted to get the second one done. Imagined how shocked & yes, frustrated, i was when i found out that i would have to wait ELEVEN weeks this time, for surgery. But God opened my eyes & made me see that by waiting so long, if i keep up my exercises, my right leg (with the old hip) will be stronger to begin with. Which in turn, will make for a quicker & easier recovery.

"Then He touched their eye & said, 'According to your faith will it be done to you.' "
Matthew 9:29 (NIV)

You need to believe that God will answer your prayer. Are you willing to surrender you will for God's will? That means that you give up your own ideas of how things should be. You need to have faith & trust God & His will. Also, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you in how to pray. If you lack faith, then ask God to help your unbelief. In Mark 9:23-24, the father said, "Lord I believe; help my unbelief!" Jesus DID answer this prayer. He just needed to ask.

"Every good & perfect gift is from above coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
James 1:17 (NIV)

I have seen God's gifts in my life. And i have learned to wait - as patiently as possible - on His perfect timing. I've learned to keep my heart & mind open, for His "no's" & "not yet's". And believe me, life is a whole lot better since i've learned this. I don't worry, because i know that God will take care of it. I'm not stressed , because i know that God will take care of it. And i always ask for HIS will to be done in ALL things. Because i know that HIS way is ALWAYS THE BEST WAY. You can have this too! Ask Jesus to help you with this. As in the preceding paragraph, you just need to ask.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Could You Have Done More?

This morning, i received an email from a long-time friend & learned that her mom is in the final stages of Alzheimer's. This, of course, saddened me. I know that her mom hadn't been well for quite some time & my friend has been a very courageous & long-term caregiver for her mom. This brought back memories of myself. I think most of us, when we look back at a situations like this, we tend to remember that we did do for these loved ones, but we could have done more.  And i am no exception to that. I could have done more. But i didn't & now, that's water, long under the bridge. I did what i thought i could do & all i did was done in love.

"Three things will last forever - faith, hop, & love -- and the greatest of these is love."
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NLT)

Whether it's a parent, a family member, a special person that is loved, we can all do better.  As my mobility remains not so mobile, i may not be able to spend much time with certain loved ones, but i can do the next best thing. I can pick up the phone & call them. I can write a note/letter using a real pen & paper....or send an email. =)  

"Love each other in the same way I have loved your"
John 15:12b (NLT)

We are commanded to love as we have been loved. I do understand how hectic life can get  & i understand how time can get away from us. But i must strongly remind you that life is short. None of us are guaranteed a tomorrow. Is there someone you need to spend more time with?

"The most important thing that should totally absorb our lives down here is the practice of REAL love. Why? Because love lasts. Love will be the only thing that matter in eternity."
Jill Brisco, author of Love That Lasts

Reading this quote, i hope that you all realize that this includes every one in your life. From your children, to your spouse, parents, grandparents, other family members & friends. Schedule this time into your life, if you have to.....write it in you planner. Here's a few suggestions to get you started:
* Write a little note & leave it in an unexpected place for someone to find
* Give time, make dates, with no strings attached - lunch, movie, or just sit & chat away from any distractions.
* Touch is a great way of showing love too, especially if someone special is older & has lost their spouse. Hold their hands, give them a REAL hug. This is good for everyone!
* Affirm & always be encouraging & complimentary. Tell them at least one positive thing that you believe about them.

I'm not really sure where God is taking me with this post today. Usually, i have a pretty good ending flowing about now. =) I just know that this is what He has laid on my heart. If you've read my posts before, you probably already know that before i start writing i ask God to give me HIS message & HIS words, that the post will touch someone's heart. And at this point, i pray that my list of suggestions to get you started will open your mind & inspire you to make time for those you love.

Monday, July 28, 2014

R-E-S-P-E-C-T Find Out What It Means To...Everyone!

Last night, Hubby & i were watching "Chopped" on the Food Network. Usually, as the show progresses, i end up rooting for one of the 4 chefs & usually, i root for a chef without an ego & an attitude. Last night was no exception. Of the 4 chefs, one of them seemed VERY pompous & even boasted that HE was the best, before the competition even began. Another chef, called a very humble lady "an old timer" & another chef, "the old guy". I realize that this IS a competition. But you can have a sense of competition & have respect for each other.

Unfortunately, this kind of disrespect goes on every day. It goes on at the workplace, home, schools, public places & even at churches. CHURCHES?! Yes, in churches - not all churches, but it does happen in God's house. I just seems that society as a whole has lost respect for one another. 

"Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord"
Leviticus 19:18 (NIV)

Our love & respect for God should make us all want to follow His commands. We should automatically share an encouraging word, rather than spitting out a rude comment. And a lot of times, those who spit out those rude comments have little respect for themselves. So, they use rude comments, among other things, to make themselves look better. Unfortunately, they don't realize that it has the opposite effect.

Think about it. Thinkabout what this world would be like if we would just obey God's command. ALL spouses would respect each other. ALL children would honor their parents. There would be so much more learning in schools. Laws would be obeyed. No co-worker would be out to discredit anyone. Laws would be obeyed. And in churches, no one's personal agenda would even be thought of...only GOD'S plan! That would be a different world - a WONDERFUL world! Common courtesy would be the norm, instead of seeming like the exception. Can you imagine the difference in your next trip to Walmart!!! We would all know our neighbors & be willing to lend a helping hand to a stranger. How many videos have we seen of people being bystanders - who would rather watch something happen as if it's entertainment, then lend a hand?!  Our language would even change. Instead of talking about fears & anxieties & yes - even stress - those feelings would be replaced with amazing peace & goodwill, by being & receiving so many blessings.

This type of world may seem like a fantasy. But we can ALL work toward making it a reality. One step at time. Each & every one of us has that power! The power to CHOOSE to follow God's command - to respect - as HE intended us too. 

Now, i mentioned your next trip to Walmart. I have to confess that i used to DREAD going there! People were rude & cranky. But one day, i realized that it was ME that was becoming cranky & rude. I feel that i was that way, because i refused to be pushed around - so to speak. So i asked God to take control of me & my shopping trip. I asked HIM to let HIS light shine through me to everyone i met. What a different Walmart trip THAT was!!! And after i got home, i had an entirely different attitude. You can have that too & not just at Walmart, but every day, every where! Like they say, it's the little things that count. Share a smile with everyone whose eye meet yours. Hold the door for a stranger. Listen - really listen - when someone is talking to you. But first & foremost, ask God to help you obey His command.

"The entire law is summed up in a single command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' "
Galatians 5:14 (NIV)

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Letter to My Readers

Hello to my wonderful Readers!

As i decided to get my so called "schedule" on track this week. I realized that i hadn't done a blog post since the Monday after Easter. And Easter Sunday was the last time that i was able to attend our church. I have posted in the past of my issue with severe arthritis & lack of mobility, that i have been going through this year. Well, that Sunday morning, my pain level was extremely high. But i was bound & determined that i was going to church for Easter. By the time church was over, the pain was horrendous! Unfortunately, it was downhill even more after that.

But thankfully, things are looking up! PRAISE THE LORD!!! On June 24th, i had a full hip replacement. And now, after 4 weeks, i can say that i am doing very well. The way that i feel now compared to after surgery, is nothing short than miraculous!!! My pain level now is only about a third of what it was. There are no more tears due to pain & those were coming at least once a day. And each & every day, i get stronger & am able to do more things. It's such a wonderful feeling!

And i have faith that the miracles will continue. In September, i am scheduled to have the other hip done. With the replacement that i just had, i now have one leg that's about an inch longer than the other one. So i'm a little bit lopsided right now. But i am sure that when things get evened out, my mobility will be even better & strength will increase even more. 

I am so thankful for answered prayers & for all those prayers that were said on my behalf. The Great Physician has certainly had His healing hands on me -- both physically & emotionally. I am really feeling like myself emotionally. And i know that with this other surgery, i'll be on the road to "getting my life back". Compared to where i was in April, i am experiencing miracle after miracle. 

Yes! Miracles do happen! Every day!!!

I pray that you all have a week of blessings....more than you could ever imagine.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Listen For God's Whispers

Have you ever listened to the whispers? I have a dear friend who has a very close relationship with our Father. She was told this last weekend, to tell me, to listen to His whispers. Now, i always try to keep my heart & mind open to what God has to say. And i've told you before, how i ask God for HIS words when i write my blog post. But have you ever tried to hear a whisper, when there is a lot of background noise?

"He says, 'Be still, & know that I am God;
 I will be exalted among the nations;
 I will be exalted in the earth.' "
Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

No wonder that we are instructed to BE STILL. This morning, there have been a lot of things on my heart, so this post may not "flow" well, but i pray that God's message will be clear. And with Easter coming, my mind is full things that are being whispered to me, that is just ready to spill out. 

There is a lot of rain in our area today & with that, comes a very high pain level for me. But this morning, as i'm whining to myself about my pain level, it was whispered to me, a reminder of the pain level that Jesus endured. I just can't imagine. And when i first saw "The Passion of Christ", even though i "knew" what Jesus went through, with the intensive picture on the big screen, it became so much more real for me. All i could do was sit there & cry. What an amazing love, that Jesus had, to endure so much for me! For you!! For every single person who is born on this earth!!!

He died for us!
He was buried in the tomb for us!
And up from the grave He arose for us!

Easter is about an empty tomb - not a full basket!!! Unless.....

I believed in the Easter Bunny when i was a kid. And i still think that Easter Bunnies are adorable. Most of us probably did believe in the Easter Bunny when we were young. I'm pretty confident too, saying that we all were taught & knew the real reason for Easter. There is something that is really weighing on me & if i offend anyone, i'm sorry. But i have to say this! The Easter Bunny was always at home & NOT at church.There are churches that have Easter Egg hunts following their Easter service. And i'm sorry, but in my opinion, the Easter Bunny should not be at church! How can we celebrate the most holiest of days during a worship service, during Sunday School, during Youth Church, etc., when all the young ones are excited about an Easter Egg Hunt & all the goodies they will find?! How do we teach them what's most important?!

Easter is "the rest of the story", as Paul Harvey would have said. It IS the rest of the Christmas story. I remember when stores started being open on Easter & companies stopped giving holiday pay for that day, because, they said, it was a "religious" holiday. I can remember my mom being as frustrated with that as i am with the Easter Bunny & Egg Hunts at church. She would say, "What the heck do they think Christmas is?!" Yes, Easter IS the rest of the Christmas story. Jesus was born so that He could die for us!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16-17 (NIV)

Now that IS the greatest story ever told AND the best ever love story. I do pray that you all will listen to God's whispers. And that this week, that God will touch your heart in ways that you never thought possible.

Monday, April 7, 2014

God's Love Can Empower You!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His one & only Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal live.
John 3:16 (NIV)

We all know this verse, but when was the last time that you really thought about the degree of love that God had for each & everyone of us, when He sacrificed His son to bear our sins. Yet, we still sin. Do you ever find yourself doing something that you know you should not do? I admit it; i do.

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life & godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by Hi own glory & goodness."
2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)

So true! He has given us His word to study & learn what we should & shouldn't do. But we do things we shouldn't anyway. The Bible says, that when we return to our vices again & again, we are like "dogs returning to our vomit". (Proverbs 26:1) YUCK!!! The thought of that alone should make us stop in our tracks before we do what we shouldn't do. So why do we return to our vices when we now that Jesus conquered sin our our be half? Sin has power & we enjoy it. It gives us something that we are searching for --pleasure,  escape, wealth, power, attention -- the list could go on & on. But sin always has consequences that we don't want. Unfortunately, those consequences don't over power the feel good moments.

So how can we overcome the sins that we have a love-hate relationship with? A powerful love! A surpassing love!! A greater love!!! It is the love that God has shown us when He gave His Son for US! This love comes with no hate, no guilt, & no shame. And the endless benefits - aka blessings - that are promised ARE delivered. This love IS more powerful than the allure of any sin. Immerse yourself in God's powerful love. Read about it regularly in His word. Drink it in. Pray for it. And see it work in your life. We can't help but love God back with all our hear, soul & minds. Immersing ourselves in the everlasting love of God, we become willing & able to walk away from our sins. Fill your mind & heart with God's Powerful Love & ask His forgiveness to the sins that you return to. And ask Him to empower your to walk away, with Him by your side.