Wednesday, October 28, 2020

To Everyone:



Tax exemptions are awesome.

  

I remember when we had three children at home, and we qualified for lots of deductions.  That's when I’d do a good ol’ happy dance when the tax returns came.  


At tax perpetration time, I would search for anything that I was allowed to declare that would benefit me and give me some extra money in the income tax return. 

 

There is a feeling of euphoria when I’d find a great exemption.   Which meant that I was exempt, but others were not. They have to pay, but not me. 


Sometimes that same ‘tax exemption’ superiority crosses over into bad behavior.  In life sometimes I want to get a ‘tax exemption’ on my bad behavior while holding you to a different standard.  


Here’s the bottom line, God’s word applies equally to everyone; believers, unbelievers, boomers, generation X, millennials, and those who are yet to come.  No exemptions!


See, it really doesn’t matter if you believe it, God’s word remains the same and it’s…To Everyone:


In 1 Thessalonians 5:15 it says,

 

See that no one repays another with evil for evil,

but always seek after that which is good

for one another and for all people.


In the days ahead, remember to guard your heart, and your spoken and written words because you are not exempt


God’s Word says that once we all wore fitly rags, but through His forgiveness, death on the cross, and His resurrection, we are promised everlasting life and robes of righteousness.


Whenever you feel like repaying evil for evil, remember you are not exempt.  


When we disagree, are angry, have been hurt by words, or seek to retaliate…remember forgiveness should always be bestowed To Everyone.  

 

 

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."





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