Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Avoiding Gossip

"Gossip often veils itself in certain phrases:

"Have you heard...?"

"Did you know...?"

"They tell me..."

"Keep this to yourself, but..."

"I don't believe it's true, but I heard that..."

"I wouldn't tell you, except that I know it will go no further."

Of course, the most infamous such rationalization in Christian circles is,"I am telling you this so you can pray." It sounds pious, but the heart that feeds on evil reports leaves flaming fires in its wake. Oh, the heartache that comes from the tongue."

~Barbara Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Woman, pg. 88-89

Anything you would add to this list of possible gossip phrases?


Monday, July 30, 2012

A Poem To Remind Me that God Is A Giver

     When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done;
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

     His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

~Annie Johnson Flint

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Quote from Martin Luther

"Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave."
~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Courtesy Owed To A Small Child

"In addition to learning how to treat others, children must also be treated well themselves if they are to develop gracious manners. Parents most often think in terms of how they can teach their child to behave toward others and only rarely stop to think of the courtesy that even a small 
child is owed.

Here are the basic courtesies that 
any child is owed:
  • Do not talk down. Children may not think or act like adults, but they do know when they are being condescended to, and they do not like it.
  • Do not speak babytalk. Apart from the fact that speech experts have determined that babytalk only confuses a child, the child may think this is an acceptable way to speak. And there are few things more ridiculous than an adult speaking jibberish.
  • Do not use vulgar language. In today's media-oriented world, with standards at what must be an all-time low, he will learn vulgar language soon enough. There is nothing cute about a two-year-old using obscene expressions that he does not understand.
  • Do not, if you can possibly avoid doing so, discipline your child n public."
~Taken from The New Etiquette by Marjabelle Young Stewart

Is there anything you would add to this list?

Monday, July 23, 2012

God Said Yes

June 19, 2011 is a day our church will always remember. Five young men were driving home from our annual Bible Conference, a tire blew, the car rolled seven times, landed on the opposite side of the freeway, two young men died, one was paralyzed from the neck down, and two were rushed to the hospital for severe injuries.

We prayed, believing God for mighty miracles in the three boys' lives that were facing physical pain and injuries. People around the world began to pray. God moved and all three have experienced healing in various ways.

In this time of great turmoil, a dear friend of mine told me about the book God Said Yes by Heather Horn-Bland and Ninie Hammon. It's the testimony of a little girl that overcame the odds and experienced 13 medical miracles in her body. It immediately brought me hope in the midst of a difficult situation. It strengthened my faith that nothing is impossible for God.

What It Says On the Front Cover:
“When four-year-old Heather was run over by a car, doctors told the family she wouldn’t survive. Now 34 years, 187 operations, and 13 medical miracles, Heather is alive to tell her story.”

Heather and Ninie beautifully recount the amazing story of Heather’s life. Heather overcame different obstacles in her life: emotionally, physically, and spiritually. She jumped into the front seat of the car at the age of four, the door opened and she fell out. The front tire was on her stomach. It's not known how she got out from under that tire. But, God knows and saved her. God said, "Yes"--Heather would live. Even after Heather's accident, Heather endured abuse from a neighbor down the street that brought deep emotional pain. In addition, the man she married left her during a very hard time in their lives. Yet, despite all of the pain and trials, Heather pressed forward, trusting God.
A Few Quotes:
Heather, age 4, still in the hospital after the accident… “I stood there proudly, beaming, as the doctors and nurses-including the orthopedist who had pronounced solemnly that I would be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life-burst into applause. But I wasn’t finished. With a grin that threatened to split open my whole face, I lifted one foot and carefully took a shaky step forward. And then another. And another. I didn’t even limp-astonishing given that there was still an inch-wide gap between the broken halves of my pelvic bone.”

“As Mom sat in the chair beside my bed, staring with unseeing eyes out the window at the street below, I just knew the tired old phrase was echoing in her head:  This many bad things can’t possibly happen to one person! How many times over the years had we heard somebody say that about me? Every time yet another ghastly thing occurred, we could count on fielding that comment from someone.”

 Towards the end of her story Heather says,

“Despite decades of suffering, pain was not the driving force of my life. It never had been. I had been propelled through life by the engine of joy. Over the years, I made thousands and thousands of individual decisions not to be controlled by pain. If I had been unwilling to suck it up and go on, if I had allowed self-pity and bitterness to snag fishhooks into my soul, I would have missed everything. Everything that mattered.”

 “I thought back over the events of the last year, the hardest year of my life, and I was filled with an overwhelming gratitude. The bleaker my life got, the brighter God’s incredible gifts of joy sparkled in the darkness.”

"the joy of the Lord is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10
My Thoughts:
This was such an inspirational story to read. It helped and encouraged me in my walk with God, to hear how another Christian endured trials and suffering with joy. 

It reaffirmed my faith that:
  • God is real...God saved Heather's life-against all odds she survived the accident
  • He will send His angels to watch over me...an angel was with Heather in her hospital room after the accident
  • God's grace is sufficient for me..Heather continuously made the decision to trust God and choose joy in the midst of her pain throughout her life
  • God works miracles in people's lives, and He can for me, too...Heather technically died two times, but lived
  • God is my healer...God healed Heather's body to the degree that she conceived two children
  • God provides my needs whatever they may be...God used people to buy Heather's incredibly expensive medicine, when she had no means to buy it herself
Heather's story ignited my faith once again for these things personally, and for others that I know enduring difficult situations. It gave me hope as I read through the book, for the young men in our church that were in the accident.

I've struggled in my life with a lot of unnecessary fear, especially while being pregnant. I've worried about my upcoming cesarean surgeries and what would happen to me and/or my baby. I struggled with the fear of the unknown...wondering if I'd survive the surgeries or the fear that the doctors might make a mistake. But, reading Heather's story gave me a peace and comfort that God is in control. With God, I have nothing to fear. I can trust God to watch over me and those I love. Heather went through 187 operations and God took care of her. No, everything wasn't perfect, but God carried her through every step of the way. 

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

I highly recommend this book for anyone to read. It touched my heart and opened my eyes to see my loving Savior in a new light. God is good. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Quote from John Edmund Haggai

"You cannot think fear and act courageously. Conversely, you cannot think courage and act fearfully. You cannot think hatred and act kindly. Conversely, you cannot think kindly and act hatefully. Your feelings inevitably correspond to your dominant thoughts and actions. Is this scriptural? Absolutely! God's Word says, 'For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7)."

~John Edmund Haggai

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Studying the Bible

"London preacher and Bible teacher Dick Lucas provides these six basic questions that, if asked, will prove helpful:

1.  What is the main point (or points) of the text?

2.  How can you tell what the main point is?

3.  How does your understanding of the text connect to what came immediately before and after?

4.  Does this text tell us about or point us to Jesus? How?

5.  What are the surprises in this text?

6.  What is the application of this text? How do you know?

     Get the big picture. After applying these questions to the text you are studying, ask this question: 'How is the text tied to the context of the whole Bible?'  This will help you avoid getting bogged down in the small details and enable you to gain an understanding of how a smaller section of the Bible fits into the big picture."

~As quoted in Disciplines of a Godly Woman, pg. 79-80

Monday, July 16, 2012

Count Your Blessings

"Count Your Blessings
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep...you are richer than 70 percent of this world.
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace...you are among the top 8 percent of the world's wealthy.
  • If you woke up this morning with more health than illness...you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.
  • If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation...you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
  • If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death...you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
  • If your parents are still alive and still married...you are very rare.
  • If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful...you are blessed because, although the majority can, most do not."
~Author Unknown, taken from www.iciworld.net, as quoted in Growing Grateful Kids

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Relationships

From Head to Heart

* Practice being present with a friend. Stop everything and be there. Put your cell phone on vibrate. If possible, don't multitask, even if you feel like you can do something else and listen at the same time. Let her know that you are there by your body language and eye contact. Ask follow-up questions.

* Practice being present with yourself. When possible, drive in the car without the radio on. Sit still without reading or watching television. Start small, but become comfortable with longer periods of silence and solitude.

* Practice being present with God. Pour out your heart but then take time to listen. Or simply imagine you are leaning up against Jesus like his disciple John (John 13:25). Breathe out your worries and breathe in his peace.

* Imagine yourself stepping to the throne of grace with your feelings of shame and unworthiness. Now, picture him smiling and delighting in you because you are his beloved daughter.

* Call someone just to talk through your feelings.

* Call someone and ask for specific prayer.

* When people ask you to pray for them, offer to pray with them right then.

* Send a card, text, or email that says, "I have prayed for you." That is so much more comforting than, "I will pray for you."

* Collect your friends' Christmas card photos and put them on the fridge or a bulletin board nearby. Whenever your eyes land up on a family, send up a quick prayer for them.

* If a sermon touches you at church, buy the CD and send it to a friend. If a book helps you grow, buy one for a friend.

*Send a box of "withness" to a friend. Collect a handful of little gifts, wrap them individually, put a sweet note on each package, box them all up, and deliver it to a friend who needs a friend to be with her during a lonely or hard time.

* Consider attempting to reconcile a broken friendship.

* Think of the kind of friendships you would like to have and ask God to provide that kind of friend.

~Taken from Friendships for Grown-Ups, pg. 211-212

Friday, July 6, 2012

Words For Your Family

I'm proud of you.
Way to go!
Bingo! You did it.
I knew you could do it.
What a good helper.
You're very special to me.
I trust you.
What a treasure.
Hooray for you!
Beautiful work.
You're a real trooper.
Well done.
That's so creative.
You make my day.
You're a joy.
Give me a big hug.
You're such a good listener.
You figured it out.
I love you.
You're so responsible.
You remembered.
You're the best.
You sure tried hard.
I've got to hand it to you.
I couldn't be prouder of you.
You light up my day.
My buttons are popping off.
I'm praying for you.
You're wonderful.
I'm behind you.

~Gary Smalley and John Trent from "Leaving the Light On" as quoted in Lists to Live By

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quote from C.S. Lewis

"Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man...It is the comparison that makes you proud:  the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition is gone, pride is gone."

~C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

 "The truth shall make you free."
~Jesus, John 8:21
"He who has overcome his fears will truly be free."

"True obedience is true freedom."
~Henry Ward Beecher

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Helpful Tip Tuesday: Active Listening Part II

Hints for becoming an accomplished and effective 
"Active Listener:"

  1.   Sit toward the front and center of the room. Vision and hearing are better.
  2.   Tune in. Listening takes energy.
  3.   Avoid distractions such as doorways, window glare and people who may distract you.
  4.   Have two pens in case one runs out of ink.
  5.   Write the date and topic on the top of your note-page.
  6.   Prepare yourself mentally. Ask God to help you listen actively.
  7.   Pay attention to the speaker for verbal, postural, and visual clues as to what is important. Repetition often indicates an important point.
  8.   Listen to the introduction and write down the overall theme of the talk or sermon. What challenges or questions does the speaker raise?
  9.   Be selective. Some points are more important than others. Write down only the main ideas and divide the lesson into key points. Number each point. Use letters or bullet points to highlight sub-points.
  10.   Don't try to write down every word spoken. Concentrate on key words or thoughts and jot down words or phrases, not entire sentences. Write down a two or three word description of illustrations given to highlight key points. Use symbols ( +,=, &,@,w/ ("for with"), etc.
  11.   Write scripture references next to key points.
  12.   Instead of getting ready to leave immediately at the end of the sermon or lesson, listen carefully to the information given toward the end. Summary statements may be of particular value in highlighting main points.
  13.   After the lesson, review you notes and write down applications from the lesson to your life. Learning without application is worse than no learning at all. Once we hear a word from God, we are responsible for that word.
  14.   As part of your daily devotional time, re-read the scriptures used as a part of the lesson. Underline or make notations in your Bible's margin to highlight these scriptures for later reference. Commit to memory one of the key scripture references each week.
~Taken from Family Christian Press, Sermon & Lesson Organizer

Do you have any other helpful hints for listening that are not mentioned on this list?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...