Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Are you doing a good job?



When I worked a job where I was paid money for hours served, there were times I didn't like my responsibilities.  Some of the jobs I've held were in food preparation, cleaning, babysitting, cooking, secretarial, and ministry.  


Without exception, there were duties required of me in each of these jobs that I didn't want to do.  


If given the option while babysitting, I would not choose to change a dirty diaper.  


At the restaurants I worked in, I would not choose to scrap the garbage off people's plates or touch the dirty napkins they used to blow their nose.


When cleaning the church, there were toilets, lots of toilets.  Enough said.


While working in an office setting as a secretary, there were phone calls I would have liked to avoid. 


I didn't always want to do the assigned duties of the job I was chosen to do, but I did because these jobs were mine to do.  


In Colossians 4:12 & 13 (NASB) we have all been given jobs to do as people chosen of God.


So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.


When I read this verse, I wonder how God would evaluate my job performance on these responsibilities.  


Would I even get a paycheck this week or any week?  


Would my evaluation say...

  • She has a heart of compassion for the hurting.    
  • She's kind even when others are not. 
  • When others praise her, she doesn’t get proud or boastful. (Humility
  • Even when giving correction to others, she's gentle in how she speaks.
  • When it wasn't her turn to speak, she was patient.
  • When people had differing views than she did, she had a way of accepting them even though she didn't accept what they were saying.  (Bearing with one another)
  • She was able to forgive even when she was hurt.

I know my evaluation wouldn't be this glowing, but I'd like it to be.  I'd like to work on being better at the things God has chosen for me.


How about you, are you doing a good job?

 

 

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Safeguard



It doesn't happen often, but sometimes I get blindsided.  I mean really blindsided by someone.  Their words catch me off guard, and I don't respond the way I do when I have my wits about me.  

I'm can be sailing along having a great day and POW, I go down for the count.  

It's at that moment that I have a choice.  I can wallow in the pain, look for someone to blame, or I can choose to safeguard myself.  

If you are anything like me, the blame choice is the usual place I go.  But WRONG, that’s not the correct answer, so don’t even go there.

Now, the word safeguard may sound like counselor jargon, but the term safeguard was first used by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:1 when he told us this amazing truth.

Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.

To write the same things again is no trouble to me,

and it is a safeguard for you.  

Philippians 3:1 (NASB)

The safeguard that Paul was speaking of was the safeguard of rejoicing, being glad, being joyful in the Lord.

We are refreshed and restored when we rejoice in the Lord.  Rejoicing in the Lord brings healing to our souls.   

·      It is in His presence, we find fullness of joy.  

·      It is in His presence, we are able to release our cares and pain to Him.  

·      It is in His presence, we find the path to forgiveness.  

·      It is in His presence, we are able to feel safe again.

It’s in His presence, we will fully understand the built-in safeguard God has provided for us through rejoicing.  

Thank you, Lord, for another day to Praise Your Name.

 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Be Careful


 
Not too long ago, my three-year-old grandson played on the deck with a dishpan full of water.  He was splashing his toys in and out of the water.  As you can imagine, the area around him became wet.   He spotted another toy and jumped up to get it.  When he returned to the dishpan of water, he was unprepared for the wet area beneath his feet.   

He fell and I mean hard.  

It was one of those cartoon falls, where his feet hit the water and he became airborne for a second before coming down with a thud.  

He stood up as quickly as he fell, but his face revealed his emotions.  He was embarrassed, hurt, and confused.  

From across the deck, I watched this all play out and I asked the question.  "Are you okay?"

When his eyes met mine, he burst into tears and ran to me.  I held him in my lap and reassured him that he would be okay.  After a few minutes, his tears stopped, and he climbed down and went back to his play.

My warning to him as he headed right back to the wet area on the deck was, "Be careful."

In Ephesians 5:15-17 (ESV), God is watching over us as a loving Father saying the same thing, "Be careful."

Look carefully then how you walk, 

not as unwise but as wise, 

making the best use of the time, 

because the days are evil.  

Therefore do not be foolish, 

but understand what the will of the Lord is.

My grandson returned to the wet area on the deck to play, but something changed when he approached the place that had previously caused him pain.  He walked cautiously to the dishpan to retrieve his toys.  He didn't want a repeat of the earlier incident.  

Oh, how amazing our lives would be if we could learn to tread lightly in the "slippy" areas of life.

This scripture from Ephesians tells us to be wise, make the best use of our time in these evil days by not being foolish but understanding what God's will is for us. 

Then as we go out into the world and live our lives we should, "Be careful."





Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Really! It's free.

 


No one likes getting something for nothing more than me.  

Getting a good deal or better yet, getting something for free makes my happy endorphins all a glow.  

 

But what can change that happy glow to red hot righteous anger is when I buy into an amazing free deal and later find out there are strings attached.  


The Sea World tickets aren't really free at all because you have to sit through a mind-numbing lecture on timeshares.  

 

So no, the tickets were not FREE!  And, I was not a good representative of Jesus at 45-minutes into that lecture nor following the lecture when I had to sit for 30 more minutes with the high-pressure salesperson one-on-one.  


I'm guessing you figured out by now, we don't own a timeshare.

 

However, seeing The Otter Show at Sea World went a long way in helping me forget the misery of the timeshare meeting.

 

In the book of Galatians, Paul addresses something that reminds me of a timeshare deal, too good to be true.  

 

In the early church, there were religious legalists.  Let's call them the timeshare salespeople.  These legalistic leaders could not believe that what Christ did for us on the cross was enough.  They wanted to add rituals into their Christian Worship that involved works.  

 

In so doing, they were placing the new believers back under the curse of the Law.  Their salvation was no longer free but work-based.   

 

In the Net Bible, Galatians 2:16 says this, know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

 

In this verse, we see there is no bait and switch going on.  No, need to sit through that timeshare meeting or sign on the dotted line, to receive your free gift of salvation.  


Nope, no works needed here, our salvation truly is free.  If someone tells you otherwise, get out of there.  RUN!


The only cost to us is our faith to believe.


Really!  It's free.


Disclaimer:  To the people who own timeshares--I'm happy for you and a huge thank you to those who let us use their timeshares for free--really free--that was amazing.  We had a blast.  

 



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Face Mask


I know there has been much talk about the mandate to wear face masks in public places.  Some people are 100% behind this safety measure while others are equally against it.   

 

For me, there are definitely some pros besides the health and safety benefits of wearing a mask.  

 

I love the privacy I feel when my mask is in place.  It's like I'm completely hidden away.  I don't have to wear makeup.  I can talk to myself and no one sees my lips moving.  

 

At church, I can belt out all the wrong words to the songs and no one can see that my lips don't match the words on the screen.  

 

Of course, I'd never do this, but someone else might even make faces behind their mask showing delight or disgust for any given situation.   

 

The best thing about a face mask is that you know when you have bad breath...and if you do, that's another reason that I'm thankful for the mask.

 

Masks or veils aren't always good though.  When it comes to the gospel being veiled, that's a tragedy. 

 

In 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 it says this, 

 

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

We know that our enemy Satan is a deceiver and a master at obscuring the truth.  He is an expert at providing masks and veils to hide behind.  

 

The master deceiver Satan will take any opportunity to veil, mask, or hide Jesus.   

 

When the gospel is hidden behind a mask, the unbeliever thinks Christ isn't able to give them what they need, they choose to accept the veil that Satan provides.  Their eyes are blinded, veiled and masked to the best representation of God we’ll ever see.  That beautiful picture is found in the likeness of Jesus.

 

Sometimes a mask can be a good thing and sometimes it can mean death.

 

My prayer, Lord, unmask their eyes that they will see you in all your glory and believe.

 



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Cross

The Cross

 

A few years ago, when my eldest granddaughter celebrated her first communion, my husband and I went to Nebraska to be with her, and we wanted to buy her a special gift that fit the occasion. 

 

Unlike the church I was brought up in, she prepared for this event with two years of classes and a public confession of her faith before taking communion at the age of 14.


The gift we selected for her was a silver infinity cross necklace.  (See picture.)  We set a high budget for the gift because we valued the decision she was making; both in her heart to follow the Lord and His commandment to take communion in remembrance of what Christ did for us.


I know many people wear cross jewelry without any understanding of the meaning of the cross, nor do they have any desire to follow God’s commandments. 

 

For me, the cross is more than a piece of ornamental jewelry.  The message of the cross to the believer is the death of the innocent for the redemption of the guilty.  


I look at a cross and am reminded of what Christ did for me.  The cross sends a message of hope.  

In 1 Corinthians 1:18 NET, it says this...

“For the message about the cross 

is foolishness to those who are perishing, 

but to us who are being saved 

it is the power of God."

 
While Jesus provided a way for our salvation through His death on the cross and resurrection, He also told us that we would need to die daily.  We would need to take up our cross and follow Him.
 
Some people may think the cross and those who look to it are foolish, but when I see the Cross, I see...

    • FORGIVENESS 
    • REDEEMTION 
    • SALVATION
    • RESURRECTION
    • ETERNITY 


What do you see?

 

 
 
 
  
 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Easy Way



I like to keep things uncomplicated.  If there is an easy way to do something, write something or say something, why would someone choose to make it difficult?  This is one of my pet peeves.

 

I remember when my husband was doing masters-level work, and he handed me his textbook and said, "Read that first page out loud."

 

I took the book and began reading.  About two paragraphs in, I tossed the book on the sofa and said, "Why?  Why would anyone write like this?  They are purposefully making it more complicated than it needs to be.  It's wordy for no reason with complicated sentence structure.  I simply don't get it.  Don't they want to help their students soar?"  

 

In the Bible, there is a verse that I love because it's uncomplicated with no hoops to jump through, nor steps to follow to perfection, and no endless list of does or don'ts.  This verse says what it means and means what it says.

 

 

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 10:13

 

And there you have it.  Plainly said and simple to understand.   It really takes all the ABC's and repeat-after-me out of the salvation message.  


 

The price was high for our Lord and Savior, but He gives everyone an Easy Way in…Call On Him!

 



Are you doing a good job?

When I worked a job where I was paid money for hours served, there were times I didn't like my responsibilities.  Some of the jobs I'...