Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tomorrow...

One prayer we should pray each day of our lives should be:
"Oh! Teach us to live well! Teach us to live wisely and well! Ps 90:12 - The Message)

May your life and 2014 book, be a blessing to others - that's better than a bestseller.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A-Z challenge - all together...

Let's see if we can complete this A-Z challenge - and more importantly, if it makes sense:
Amazing
Blessings
Come
Down
Everyday
From
God



He
Is
Just
Kind
Loving
Merciful



No-one else
Offers
Precious
Qualitative
Rewards
Sacrificially
To
Us


Voices
Willingly
Xalt
Yahweh's
Zeal for us!


This last part was really difficult, so I had to look up a Bible verse that will help tie it all together:
Joel 2:18-19 - Then the LORD will be zealous for His land, And pity His people. The Lord will answer and say to His people, “Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied in full with them; And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations. (NASB)
Phew! What a challenge!! Looks like we succeeded and went full circle...so how did we do? 

Let's take a moment to do the last part and exalt the Lord for His promises and provisions...
Yes, today is Boxing Day, so package and present your thanks to God for His daily blessings.

Baggage costs...

Today is Boxing Day...a perfect day to talk about baggage if you ask me since this is the day some of us may "box"/package things for others - things we feel they need or just want.

Travelling a few months ago, I was a not-so-happy passenger when I was charged for my luggage. I mean I took my time to pack the things I felt I needed - not wanted - for my trip and yet they were going to charge me for "my needs"? This made me think about my life... and about how much I carry or even pass around.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A-Z challenge (3)

This is the 3rd post in this A-Z challenge series*:

No-one else
Offers
Precious
Qualitative
Rewards
Sacrificially
To
Us

How far have you gone with your sentence of string of sentences?

References:
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.ca/2013/12/my-z-challenge.html
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.ca/2013/12/a-z-challenge-continued.html





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Imagine...

...if we had a Christmas day every month?

With exactly one week to Christmas, there is so much activity going on:

  • Writing and sending out Christmas cards - sometimes to people (including family members and friends) you haven't spoken to in a long time. 
  • Some of us are (painstakingly) taking time to choose, buy and perfectly wrap gifts - we hope the recipient(s) will need or at least appreciate. 
  • Quite a lot of time spent for 1 day - especially when you add the time spent shopping, cooking and hosting/visiting family and/or  friends. 

As an aside, the other part of this is the very sad fact that many people - including Christians - are forgetting the Reason for the Season. If you are not sure (or don't agree with me) just look around and see the number of people who now say: "Merry Xmas" instead of "Merry Christmas" or those who have totally changed their vocabulary and say: "Happy Holidays." The way I see it, since Jesus Christ took the time and  "trouble" to be born as a baby to save us from our sins, we can and should also take the time and trouble to spell His name in full when wishing family and friends a Merry (& memorable) Christmas. The reason is simple:
Without Christ there'd be no Christmas much less anything memorable about Christmas.

Back to the topic:

Friday, December 13, 2013

A-Z Challenge continued...

In the first piece* in this series, I explained how this challenge came up... I already said I this will not be E-Z but it's still worth a try:

He
Is
Just
Kind
Loving
Merciful


Please feel free to take this challenge too and post your sentence of string of sentences...


Reference:
http://sapphire-and-beryl.blogspot.ca/2013/12/my-z-challenge.html

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tip of tongue

Have you ever had these "it's on the tip of my tongue" moments?
Well, I have and know that there are times when it is better to bite your tongue that let what's on it's tip slip out and bite others. I can't say I've been quick to bite my tongue always but I'm learning day by day. A TIP that just dropped in my heart while typing this is:
Whenever you talk, because you will, plan that you'll:
"Talk Inspirationally Persistently."

I know it will not be easy because some of us would rather talk persistently. So let these 3 (short and sweet) verses guide you when you speak:
Colossians 4:6 - When you talk, you should always be kind and wise. Then you will be able to answer everyone in the way you should. (Easy-to-Read Version)
Ephesians 4:29 - When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need—whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you. (Easy-to-Read Version)
Proverbs 31:26 - When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. (Living Bible)
I agree with John Dewey that: "There is all the difference in the world between having something to say and having to say something." Saying something or nothing can make a world of difference or even erect a wall of difference so we need to be wise with our words.

As we inch towards Christmas, a time when there are a lot of celebrations and conversations, I encourage you to watch your "tip of the tongue" moments...and take Mark Twain's advice (purple font mine): "If you have nothing (edifying) to say, say nothing."

Wishing you and yours a memorable Christmas as you remember and celebrate that it's all because Jesus came that many more good things have come (& will continue to come) to you and yours.

May God bless and keep you and yours - to His glory and may you all remain a blessing to others. AMEN!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

My A-Z challenge

I don't know if you're like me but I am quite (almost too) mentally active - even when I'm supposed to be quiet or even sleeping. More than once my husband has said: "You don't know how to rest..." - can't say I disagree because even when I'm sitting quietly, my mind is not that quiet. Exactly a week ago (Saturday night/Sunday morning), as I was trying to sleep, my husband and I had a very quick chat about a website and I started visualizing it.
I started imagining page headers in an alphabetical order and from nowhere I asked myself: 
"Can you create a sentence or string of sentences about God with the all the alphabets?"
 ...then my mind started ticking with what I've called the A-Z challenge - this will not be E-Z.

So I'll start with a few letters and over the next couple of day/weeks, try to complete it...

Amazing
Blessings
Come
Down
Everyday
From
God


This resonates with me because I have a lot to be grateful to God for - I'm sure you do too.
A wise person said: Gratitude is the best attitude and our attitude determines our altitude. Today and everyday, take time to give thanks to God for all He's blessed you and yours with.

Back to our topic: We still have a long way to go...but I won't give up my sleep for it though.

H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z
Please feel free to take this challenge too and post your sentence of string of sentences.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Got issues?

Same here - everyone's got at least one.

Bishop TD Jakes put it this way: 
Every victor is a victim in one area of life and 
every victim is a victor in one area of life.

I agree - it's a fact of life that no one should deny - even if you want to, you can't - no one can.

If you let people, they'll whine, wail and wear you out with all that's weighing them down. 

In fact there are some people who seem to always be wearing their "I have issues" t-shirt. Has this ever happened to you? You're having a conversation and sharing an experience (challenge and/or issues) with another person, the person then takes over the conversation with their own list of issues as if to say:
 "I hear you - but you can't beat my list of issues."

This reminds me of a book I read several years ago - the title drew me to it. It's not difficult to understand why the author will come up with such a title. With all the things - challenges - some of us face, it's not difficult to think and even say that. Funny, how we never think or say "God is not fair" when all is going well with us.

The fact of life is that God promised all of us a very, very rosy life... yes, one filled with sweet scents and troublesome thorns.

That was why Paul had "a thorn in his flesh"* that bothered him and he just couldn't shake it off/out. Same thing with Jesus just before He went to the cross.** Interesting that both of them asked God to take away the issue/challenge three times - so they were persistent - but God insisted that they needed those thorns (including the crown of thorns) because His grace is sufficient.*

We all have issues - challenges,  hurdles,  whatever you call them and will continue to - that's life. It's evident that those who are most successful in life are those who accept that issues/challenges are part of life and depend on God to help them through them. 


Life may not be fair but I know, from personal experience - through all my issues -that God is faithful - He'll never bring to us things He won't take us through.*** 
One thing remains true, as a testament of God's faithfulness: God's grace IS sufficient.


References:
*2 Cor 12: 7-10 - And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted. Three times I called upon the Lord and besought [Him] about this and begged that it might depart from me; But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! 10 So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased and take pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities and distresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength). (Amplified Bible)

** Matt 26: 36-46 - 
36 Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. When they got there, he told them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”37 Jesus took along Peter and the two brothers, James and John. He was very sad and troubled, 38 and he said to them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”39 Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”40 He came back and found his disciples sleeping. So he said to Peter, “Can’t any of you stay awake with me for just one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”42 Again Jesus went to pray and said, “My Father, if there is no other way, and I must suffer, I will still do what you want.”43 Jesus came back and found them sleeping again. They simply could not keep their eyes open. 44 He left them and prayed the same prayer once more.45 Finally, Jesus returned to his disciples and said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. 46 Get up! Let’s go. The one who will betray me is already here.” (Contemporary English Version)

*** 1 Cor 10:13 -
The only temptation [or trials]that has come to you is ·that which everyone has [(common to) human life]. But you can trust God [God is faithful], who will not permit you to be tempted more than you can stand. But when you are tempted, he will also give you a way to escape so that you will be able to stand[endure] it. (Expanded Bible)

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Working the Working Week in the LORD


Sunday: The Lord's Day
O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart so I may spend the day and the rest of my life in Your presence.


Monday: Wash Day
Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead.







Tuesday: Ironing Day
Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice I have collected through the years so that I may see the beauty in others.





Wednesday: Mending Day
O God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.



Thursday: Shopping Day
O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.




Friday: Cleaning Day
Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.








Saturday: Cooking Day
Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.





 





Source of pictures:
http://www.susansaltzgiverdesigns.com/Days_-_Chores.html