Sunday Afternoon

I remember when my parents would want to go for a Sunday afternoon drive. I didn’t understand the reason at the time, but I did look forward to it – mainly because we usually stopped to get a milkshake at some point. Knowing me, I probably complained about being tired and wanting to go home once we had our treat. Ha.

I remember how good it felt to have the windows down, have the whole backseat to myself (before my bro was born) and getting to listen to my folks talk.

Anyway, this morning we decided to take a drive after church. We didn’t stop for a milkshake, but I’m so glad that we took the time.

Hobe Sound Rd

Hobe Sound

Parkinson’s Disease — Walking Dude

Written by a friend….

My dear friend is battling Parkinson’s Disease. He has been for awhile. My Grandfather ( not the one you already know, but my paternal Grandfather) also had this disease. Please take a few minutes to read and understand a little about Parkinson’s. Ok, Brad, that’s a sad story, but what can I do about it? […]

via Parkinson’s Disease — Walking Dude

You’re One in a Million

What’s the best part of your day?

Is it when you take a sip of that first cup of coffee –  or second? Maybe it’s when you get to clock out for lunch – step outside and get some fresh air.

Or is it when you get inside your car, and you feel that pressure lifted off your shoulders that your work day is d o n e?

Now that I’m retired, it’s hard to say. I think the answer would have to be when it’s the end of the day – especially when I can look back and see that I’ve accomplished something meaningful. I think that’s what we all want, though. Don’t you? A desire to make a difference — which is way more satisfying than a handful of change. More than a million bucks.

Next time you take a sip of that morning coffee, think about how you can make a difference that day. See what happens. 🙂

Simple Truth

Since we’ve lived in Florida, I’ve learned that keeping flowers and plants alive is a challenge. More like impossible!

When we first moved down here, we had at least 3 outside plants (not at the same time) that died within weeks. I’m not sure if we over watered them or didn’t water them enough. Maybe they had too much sun or perhaps not enough. Seriously, no clue. All I know is that I finally gave up and didn’t want to deal with them anymore. No matter what I did, they made me feel like a failure!

One day when I was grocery shopping at Publix, I found this inside plant that I decided to buy. The best part  – you only need to water it 2 times a week. One year later, it’s still living and is growing like it should. What a good feeling it is to know you’re doing something right!

The bad thing about it is this: because the plant doesn’t need much attention, I tend to forget about watering it. I’m embarrassed to say that I sit by it almost every day, and the thought doesn’t even cross my mind that it’s probably due for a drink.

You may think I’m crazy, but I think people are like plants. Some need a lot of attention in order to survive and grow  – and some are pretty self-sufficient and only require a little attention.

Here’s the deal –  those that need constant attention can drain you to the point where you want to give up. That daily ritual of trying to figure out what they need from you makes you feel like what you’ve said or done before wasn’t good enough. Then there’s the people who are so independent that they are sometimes overlooked or neglected because everyone thinks they are OK. Know what I mean?

Isn’t it amazing how different we all are?

Sometimes you find yourself wondering if your neighbor, your friend, that acquaintance or church member (that drives you crazy)…. is worth the effort. One thing I know is that people are complicated. All of us. Relationships take work, but they’re worth it. Every bit of it.

In the study helps section of 3 John, it talks about people and how we treat them. So worth sharing here: “But how we treat others reflects our true values–what is really important to us. Do we see people as objects or inconveniences, or as unique creations of a loving God?”

It might not be the end of the world if you lose a plant (or 2, or even 3), but your life certainly suffers greatly when you lose someone you love – or someone you will learn to love-  in time.

I read something that Bob Goff said and I think it also fits perfectly…

“God isn’t wowed when we go across an ocean; He’s dazzled when we go across the street. Keep loving your neighbors. They’re everywhere.” ~ Bob Goff

And better yet…

‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” ~Mark 12:31

L o v e.

Integrity

If you’re on Instagram or have a cellphone, then you know how to use the tools to make sure your picture will look better, younger, thinner, healthier, or whatever image you’re wanting others to see. I mean, seriously…. no one likes their pic the first time around.

Hey, we all want to look our best. I don’t see anything wrong with that, but with so much focus on our outward appearance these days – what about our integrity? We can try to disguise that which makes us – us, but there’s not an app in the world that can hide the truth that you struggle with or need to change something.

Everyone struggles with something.

Lying. Judging.  Lust. Idolatry. Addiction. Selfishness. Jealousy. Bullying. Stealing. 

The good news is, if there’s something about you that you know needs to change in your heart/life, there’s a place you can go to get that done – at the foot of the cross. It’s as easy as a click on the computer. The hardest part is admitting that there’s a part of you that needs to change and then admitting that you can’t do it on your own. I don’t think anyone can.

In a world that seems to be going downhill  fast, it would be nice to start some type of movement that encourages commitment. Commitment to your spouse, to your family, to your job, to your employees, to your friends, to your word, to your faith. Maybe that would wipe out half the problems in this world. If not, it would change yours.

                                       …….Until Jesus comes.

 

 

 

Your Life Matters

About two weeks ago, my thigh met a sharp corner of a garden tub. It was one of those moments when the pain was almost overwhelming. I had some bleeding – but no big deal. The thing is it took two weeks to be able to even touch my thigh. Surprisingly, there wasn’t even a bruise, but the pain was so deep – it hurt when I walked.

My husband has this habit of patting my thigh when we are in the car. Every time he would reach out his hand, I would have to remind him to stop. I know he felt bad when he would forget, but in his defense – there wasn’t anything visible to remind him.

Maybe you are hurting, and no one seems to notice. Without a doubt, it’s not that they don’t care; sometimes you have  to let them know, and if you’ve told them, you probably need to remind them. You’re probably thinking that doesn’t seem fair, but your life is worth it. You can overcome.

I may not know you, but I am here if you need someone to talk to. If you’re a believer, you know the verses below. If you’ve never cracked open a Bible in your life, the following will reveal to you that God knows your pain. He loves you – and He will never let you down.

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. ~ Isaiah 41:13

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit; for anger resides in the lap of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I can do all this through him who gives me strength. ~ Phil. 4:13

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

 

 

Do Unto Others

I just got my nails done. If you have nails like mine, the type that are thin and never grow, then you get why I am willing to pay for acrylic nails.

I went to the same place I’ve gone to since we’ve lived in Florida. I was seated at the first seat – closest to the entrance. The gentleman who did them was very pleasant – that is until this one woman opened the door.

She was pushing a grocery cart filled with groceries. It looked like she was trying to push the cart inside – that’s when my guy looked at her and told her that she couldn’t bring it in. She looked at him, shook her head and assured him (in a pleasant tone) that she knew better than that. She placed the bags of groceries on a chair, then disappeared for a few moments.

That’s when my guy looked me in the eye and said, “They are so sensitive.”

They? Women? African-Americans? WHO? (AND, did you REALLY just say that out loud?)

Soon this woman came back inside and took a seat. Apparently she was a caretaker for one of the elderly customers. I wondered if she heard my guy express his opinion. It wasn’t like he was trying to hide it. Before I was finished, this same gal walked up and asked how much a particular service was. I wanted to tell her – go somewhere else! This guy doesn’t deserve your business!

My heart was sad. When will we – all humanity – stop making judgmental comments out loud, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on and on?

I find it interesting that this happened after reading an amazing book called Everybody Always, by Bob Goff. There’s so many lessons in it, but the one that stands out – especially today, is where he pointed out what Jesus said.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34

I’m sure there are many who have never heard this commandment. Today made me realize what a horrible job I am doing (not pointing fingers at anyone else – you can answer that for yourself) at getting the word out. God’s Word.

 

 

 

Here’s Your Notice

I think one of the most challenging things in life is when you make every effort to do something right, and  bad things still happen.

Been there?

We recently moved. Actually, we moved twice in a few weeks. First time was from one place in Florida to a different location in Florida. Second move included an accumulation of 34 years worth of things that were trucked over to a storage unit, a dumpster, and Goodwill after the sale of our home in Indy.

When we moved out of our leased place in Florida, my husband made a visit to the office to ask questions and clear up any confusion regarding what they said we owed. After talking to the staff (in person), he wrote a check and handed it to them to finally close that chapter and move on. A few weeks later, he received a call from a collection agency saying there was an outstanding balance that we never paid. You can just imagine how infuriating that phone call was. First of all, we paid! In person! Second, the office never called us or sent a notice that we still owed anything. Third, WE PAID the bill. Did I mention that we paid????? On time? In person!

After the phone call from the collection agency, my husband immediately contacted the office where he had visited a few weeks ago. The staff apologized and said that they found the check and had neglected to put it in the system.

This all made me think about someone else who paid a debt in person. Although it was all recorded and had many witnesses, many people question that it took place. Maybe it’s because they didn’t witness it with their own eyes. Maybe they think it’s too good to be true.

I’m talking about Jesus. 

He died on a cross (paid a debt for our sins) so that we could be forgiven, move on from our past and experience God’s love and eternal life, yet we continue to allow our sins to keep us from experiencing what He has in store. It’s like we forget or don’t even acknowledge what Jesus did.

Here’s your notice, friends:  HE paid your debt. 

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

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. John 3:16

Turning the Page

Don’t you just love it when you find a book that keeps your interest and actually makes you forget all about your phone? One that is so captivating, you feel your heart skip a beat as you turn the page to see what happens next.

I haven’t read many like that, but I’ll never forget the ones that were that good.

Then there are those stories that seemed good in the beginning, but all of a sudden it dragged on to the point where  you find yourself flipping to the last chapter to see if it’s worth reading the story. I’ve started several of those. You?

It’s funny how life is like that – sometimes you lose interest,  and some days you can’t wait to see what’s on the next page. I know several people who wish they  could see the future and turn to the last chapter to see if what they’re doing now is right or worth the effort. Guess we’ve all been there.

If you’re wishing you could get a peek at your last chapter, I assure you that no matter what happens today or tomorrow, it can be an amazing ending. And when you know you have that kind of ending to look forward to – it will totally change the chapter that you’re living today. I know it’s true because I’ve experienced it.

If you believe in God, then that’s a wonderful beginning. If you take the time each day to read His Word, then your story will begin to fill up with wisdom, hope, grace, and unconditional love. If you love others – even the ones you find hard to like, you will see your story become unbelievable. You will look at yourself in the mirror and wonder – ‘who is this person?’ And then, you’ll find yourself wanting to see the next page. And then the next. I know, because I’ve experienced it. God can do amazing things in your life – when you are willing to let him in.

What kind of book are you writing?

 

 

 

Out of Control

I recently read  a couple stories that really struck me. They were very different, but both involved people who were treated unfairly. I know what you’re thinking. Who doesn’t experience something that’s not fair, and what could be so special about these stories that would make them worth reading?

Please,  take a minute and read these short, but powerful stories. They just might give you a different perspective on your own life circumstances.

The first one I read was from a blog, written by Coach Muller – Good Time Stories. It illustrates what can happen when you don’t give up – like when something goes wrong at the last minute.

Jim Thorpe was representing the U.S. in the 1912 Olympics. On the day he was scheduled to compete,  someone stole his track shoes. Rather than give in to the emotions he must’ve felt, he did the unthinkable – he searched through the trash cans looking for shoes. He found two. They weren’t his, they weren’t a pair, AND they were different sizes, but that didn’t stop him from using what he found. Can you imagine? And you know what, although things were far from perfect – he still competed.  Even better – he won 2 gold medals. 

The second story was found in Bob Goff’s book, Everybody Always.

If you don’t know anything about him, he’s an attorney. He talks about meeting a thirteen year old girl in Uganda. He met her while visiting a prison and learned that this young girl  had been stuck in jail for two years without having an opportunity to go to court. Her charges involved kidnapping an infant. Even though she never stepped inside a courtroom,  she was left in a cell as if she was found guilty. Can you imagine?

Here’s her story: She was asked to take an infant to its mother who was in a nearby village. She was young and did the right thing – she did what she was told. She took the baby to the woman she thought was the mother, but as she was leaving  she overheard the baby cry. And cry. The baby’s cry disturbed her to the point where it caused the young girl to question if she had done the right thing.  Somehow she discovered she had delivered the baby to a witch doctor for a child sacrifice. Her heart kicked into gear and she quickly grabbed the baby and took her back home where she belonged. The sad thing is, she was arrested when she returned – for kidnapping the baby.

After listening to her side of the story, Goff asked the warden what jail the witch doctor stayed in. He wanted to talk to him and get his side of the story. He was shocked when he was told that they didn’t arrest the witch doctor – didn’t even question him. Why? Because everyone was afraid of witch doctors. Everyone.

The good news is Goff was able to get the young girl released and she was reunited with her family.

I think it’s safe to say we all face times when we don’t have any control over a situation. Depending on the severity, it can be  frustrating, humbling, scary, confusing, lonely, or sometimes – motivitating.  Maybe all of the above.

We live in a fallen world. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Sometimes life isn’t fair, and because of that I’ve learned to embrace three things.

           1.God        2. Hope         3. Faith

I hope you’ve found these three, as well.