Archives for posts with tag: God

It’s hard to imagine but even before we were born, there was evil in the world. There were bad business deals. There were crooked politicians. There were even false prophets trying to sway people away from God. Even though we think things have changed a lot with people treating others wrong, things really haven’t changed much at all. Sin is in the world now as much as it was thousands of years ago. However, how we deal with it and react to it is what is important. Because in the end, we will be standing before God and will be accountable for all we do.

Ephesians 5:15-16 “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.” (NLT)

Dear Lord, we know these days are evil. We can’t go a day without hearing of a bad business deal, a lying politician or an angry mob. We don’t understand why there has to be so much evil except for the fact that Satan is really playing so many people and getting them to stir things up. We pray today You will give us peace in the midst of all this evil doing. We pray You will help us to be wise. We pray You will help us to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

There has been sin in this world sin Adam and Eve. How we react to it is important.

Satan wants us to keep things stirred up in this world so people will continue to hate. Let’s not Satan win.

We will all be accountable for our actions when we stand before God on Judgment Day.

We are called to make the most of every opportunity in these evil days.

We are called to let our good deeds shine for all to see so we can give God all the glory.

Matthew 5:16 “In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (NLT)

Focus: Despite the evil in this world, God tells us we can make the most of every opportunity to share His word.

Many people misuse the word friend. They are our friends because we are friends with someone else they like. They are our friends because they need something we have. They are our friends because they have no other friends. When we put ourselves first in any friendship, it is for the wrong reasons. Friendship is about a relationship. It is about understanding and getting to know the other person. It is about what we can do for them. Not what they can do for us.

I have had many friends over the years. Some who lasted for a few months. Others who lasted for a few years. And some for a lifetime. Friendship isn’t easy. The reason some friendships don’t last is because one person gives up. Either because they get busy with other things or they just don’t care to make it work. Either way losing that person as a friend hurts. Being shunned or mistreated by those who were your friends may seem childish but it happens even as we get older. When we are shunned by those who we thought were our friends, here are some things to do.

PRAY

We are so blessed we have a friend in God. Despite what we do He doesn’t hold grudges. He loves us unconditionally and will always be ready to listen to us when we cry out to Him. He is the type of friend we need and the type of friend we should be to others. We can pray to Him to ask us to not have a hard heart toward those who mistreat us but to continue to show love to them.

LOVE

Despite how the other person treats us we should continue to show love. We don’t know what they may be going through. We don’t know what has caused them to shun us. We don’t know why they continue to act the way they do. But we can ask God to help us show them love and ask Him what we can to do to help them.

FORGIVE

Even when the other person may not believe he or she has done anything to hurt us but we feel hurt, we should forgive them. We don’t have to say it verbally to them but we do need to forgive them in our hearts. We can move on once we forgive. When we realize the devil probably has a hold on them to treat us the way they do, it will be easier to forgive them. It will be easier to let go and let God handle things.

We have possibly all had a friend who has done something to hurt us. Intentionally or unintentionally, it still hurts. Rather than let it build up inside us and take over our lives, we need to let it go. We can’t make people like us. We can’t make people treat us like they treat their real friends. However, we can be the friend to others we want to see in them and not worry about the rest. The Golden Rule works. When we live by it, God will take care of the rest.

 

Growing up I was always quiet and shy. I had a hard time making friends. I think it was because I moved around a lot since my dad was in the service. So when we finally settled in one place after he retired, I had to learn the skill of friendship around age 12. It was rough. Kids were mean. I was shy. Every day someone poked fun at me or ignored me. That went on through high school as well which didn’t help my self-esteem at all. I decided I would watch what I said to others because I didn’t want anyone to feel like I had felt growing up.

Many times we don’t even realize when we are treating someone wrong. We may not intentionally ignore someone. We may just be focused on what we are doing or thinking. We may not realize the look we have on our face that is serious or sour. But those around us do see it. What they see is an unhappy person. What they see is someone who doesn’t seem to care about them. That is why we need to be sure when we are with others, we are thinking about them and showing them we care. Here are some ways to do that:

BE AWARE

So many times we are wrapped up in our own world. We are thinking about what we have to do. We are looking ahead at tomorrow and what all is going on. We aren’t focusing at all on the moment we are in right now. We can change though. We can be in the moment. We can notice our family is in the room with us and put the phone down. We can observe someone who is standing next to us in line at the store and speak and smile at them. We can think about someone who is going through a hard time and give them a call or visit them. When we are more aware of the needs of others and take action, they will know we care.

LISTEN

We are people who tend to talk more than listen. Usually when the other person is talking we are thinking about what we are going to say next. Listening is a skill. It requires effort. Listening to others means to take the focus off of us and put it on them. When we listen to someone, we can get to know them, their needs and determine how we can help. When others are talking, let them finish. Then ask questions that help them open up so we can determine what they really need.

PRAY

I have recently learned that if I want to remember people’s names and make friends, I need to pray for them. This helps me focus more on them and their needs and helps me show a more caring attitude toward them. Praying for others is something we can do that doesn’t take long but pays out big dividends. When we pray for someone, we are showing God we care about them and want to help them.

There are people in need everywhere we go. When we are more aware of those around us, when we listen to them and when we pray for them, God is going to help us know how to best help them. We should make a list of people who we know and begin to pray for a better relationship with them trusting God to answer and show us what we need to do next.

I often find myself comparing what others have to what I have. Their house seems nicer. Their clothes look better. They aren’t as heavy as I am. The list goes on and on. As a writer and speaker, I am always looking for ways I can learn from other writers and speakers. Which leads me to comparing myself again. It seems to be a habit that we can easily get stuck in. So I did a little research and have come up with some ways to stop comparing and start learning to be content with who I am and what I have.

Be Grateful

This is probably the biggest way to stop coveting what others have. When we stop and show gratitude for what we have, we will realize we have way more than we need. We will realize we are very blessed. When we are grateful for who God made us to be, we can focus on our own strengths and talents and strive to use them for His glory.

Understand Differences

No one is the same. Everyone has something a little different about their background, experience, relationships, etc. Just as snowflakes all have differences, so do we. We can’t have exactly what others have because God did not intend it to be that way. And there are some things that we surely don’t want that others have.

Take Inventory

We have so much. Just looking around my office I see things I never use, I don’t need and I need to get rid of. How could I want more when I don’t even use what I have. Same with our talents and skills. God gives us unique abilities to use and sometimes we just leave them lying dormant inside us without developing them into what He intended us to use them for.

The Plan

So here’s the plan. When I feel as if I need something someone else has, I am first going to look around at what I have and be grateful. Then I will understand there are things others have I don’t really need. Finally, I will take inventory of my things and my abilities and ask God to show me what to do with these blessings from Him so that I can help others.

Taking the focus off of me and putting it on helping others will definitely help me to be more content with what I have and give me the opportunity to share God’s blessings with others.

I woke up laughing. Never can I recall a morning that I woke up 30 minutes before the alarm and laughing! That was this morning. Although I had stayed up past my bedtime last night watching an instructional video. Although I made a large purchase for what they were selling when I am in extreme debt. Although I had a crazy dream that should have woke me up screaming, I slept through it and dreamt on. Although I have had anxiety attacks for the past 3 months and usually wake up scared with my heart racing, this morning I woke up laughing. Only God knows the true reasons why, but here is what I think happened…

GAMING OFF

I can’t remember the last time I didn’t play computer games before going to bed. I guess since the first computers came out 20 years ago I have been play some form of solitaire, blocks, Farmville, Candy Crush, Bejeweled Blitz or another type of game. I would spend endless hours trying to get a high score with nothing really to show for it but fireworks for completing the games, blinking lights or moving up to the next level. So I decided to limit my game time to 20 minutes last night.

LEARNING ON

For about two hours before going to bed I watched or listened to successful women and men talking about how they were able to market products, advertise, stop being distracted, etc. I made notes. I set some goals and I even took action, yes at 9:00 p.m. at night, on one of those goals by doing something new I had never done before…I got brave and did something new and different and uncomfortable.

WATCHING OFF

Television. What a joke. I will say there are inspirational things on it at times but during prime time hours the new shows are just not worth my time. Too much drama or sex or profanity. Many shows are just vulgar. So how do I waste my time watching television? Reruns. I watch shows that are good and clean and I could probably quote every word so I decided to mute the TV so I could focus on putting new and good information into my brain.

READING ON

Before going to bed, I read some of a devotional book that ended with a prayer. This book is about prayer and how to have a conversation with God in all we do. It’s about how to pray in all areas of our lives. This devotion is only two pages long and offers much information about various prayers and how to pray. Reading just a bit and letting it sink in every night will make some positive changes for the future.

AHA MOMENT

You see, when we continue to do the same things expecting different results, we will be what the dictionary calls crazy or insane. I was doing that every night. I was playing computer games, watching reruns or (even worse) lifetime movies and then going to bed. But for the last few nights, I decided to read something motivational, watch an inspirational video, set some goals, think about life, read God’s word and pray. Yes, that is why I believe is the reason that this morning I woke up laughing.

THE DREAM

I was in my home with a lot of other people. We were doing a Q&A about a Bible story. I had given them parts to read about the story and asking questions. It was fun and interactive. There was a part in the dream where I went outside to walk along the beach (guess I had a beach home) and I saw walrus and some sea creatures. After walking a while I realized I was waist deep in the water. I immediately begin to panic that the sea creatures were going to get me so I thought about my relaxing techniques and the next thing I knew I was back in my home with my friends. As they would answer the questions correctly, I would say “you got it!” and we would move on to the next question. After they had all left, I saw myself lying in bed dreaming again about what could have happened to me in the water and my phone rang. I said “hello” and I heard a familiar voice on the other end who said, “you got it!” and a laugh I will never forget. It was my youngest daughter. I had dreamed she was calling me even though she wasn’t but she literally woke me up laughing.

This is not an English lesson but a LIFE lesson. I never was great at English but plan to be great in life! 🙂   headshot Frances A Plus

We know vowels are important in our daily lives because without them we couldn’t form words. Vowels are important for linking consonants. Words would be unpronounceable without vowels. Consonants are mainly used as sounds and the vowels pull the other letters together. A lot of vowels are used in action words such as verbs and adjectives because vowels make consonants take action, literally and figuratively speaking. Even the shortest words need vowels before they can make sense to us.

The vowels of life can also serve as a reminder about what we should do to serve God, help others and make a difference. We are the consonants making different sounds in our lives but the vowels pull our lives into the directions we go. It doesn’t matter if we are traveling a great distance or a short distance. Without the vowels of life, we would merely be existing by going through the motions and not living to take action.

A – Acknowledge

First, we need to acknowledge we are here for a reason. We have a life to live and we should proactively live it. Knowing we have a purpose and we can go to God to find that purpose will create an awareness within us that what we do matters and we can make a difference. We need to acknowledge and change our thoughts to live on purpose. The first step toward change is awareness. The second is acceptance. Nathaniel Branden

E – Explore

Second, we need to explore God’s word. We need to dig into His word every day. We need to subscribe to a daily devotional so we can go through God’s word and know how it applies to our lives. We need to pray asking for God to reveal to us what He wants us to do for others and share with them. Daily devotionals and spending time with God will help us explore His possibilities for us.

I – Intention

Third, we need to live intentionally. When we decide to make the calls and do what God intends for us to do. When we intentionally do right, rather than wrong, we will be able to be in charge and control about the actions we take. God doesn’t want us to go from one thing to the next and not be intentional about life. Our intention creates our reality. Wayne Dyer

O – Opportunities

Opportunities are all around us. When we see those opportunities, we are to act on them. Opportunities can come and go quickly so we want to be sure we are ready and prepared. When we know what God has called us to do in this life, we can prepare ahead of time so that when opportunities come, we will be ready. Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Bobby Unser

U – Understanding

We don’t always understand why things happen but we can understand that God has everything under control. Sometimes we try to control too much which makes us lose the big picture God wants us to see. When we seek His understand and give Him control of our lives. Our understanding is less complicated. All we have to understand is that God is in control. Leave all the other whys, what if’s and how comes to Him. He’s got it handled.  Jeremiah 29:11 “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’” (NLT)

Y – You (Sometimes)

There will be times when we need to focus on us so we can rejuvenate and replenish. When we continuously look for ways to meet the needs of others, we “burn out.” We need to find ways to retreat, regroup and refresh so we are ready to acknowledge why we are here, explore God’s word, have the right intentions, look for opportunities and pray for understanding. You are the key to make great things happen! Take care of yourself! You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar

We could go through the entire alphabet with words that are important to our success in life as we work for God; however, just as the vowels in words are needed to make the words complete, the vowels of life are necessary in order to get the other things done that will make our lives complete and help others to do the same.

Today, begin a new habit. Go through your vowels every day:

1. Acknowledge you are here for a reason and you can make a difference.
2. Explore God’s word and ask Him to reveal Himself to you through it.
3. Intentionally do what is right and resist doing wrong.
4. Opportunities should be sought after every day so we can do good for others.
5. Understand things will happen beyond our control but God has everything under control.
6. You need to take care of yourself and do what is required to retreat, regroup and refresh.

For more information about Frances Copeland Lucas, go to www.francescopelandlucas.com

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TAKE ACTIONAs children, our parents required us to answer them when they spoke to us. We couldn’t just nod our heads in agreement or say “yeah” because that was showing disrespect. Our replies were to be courteous and polite to them as well as others. If we didn’t reply politely, we were sure to be reprimanded.

As adults, we are should be able to acknowledge others with the correct reply when they address us or ask a question. But a way to really get the attention of others is to answer with action. Answering with action requires that we not only hear and understand, but that we do something as well.

When God gives us an idea or puts something in our heads that we just can’t shake loose, He wants us to take action. We may not always know the reason but we definitely shouldn’t sit around waiting on Him to tell us again.

Nehemiah was given an idea by God to register all His people once the wall was built. Nehemiah had followed through with action to ensure the city was protected and God continued with another request for him. He again followed through. He was secure enough in his faith to know what God was requesting and to follow through, time after time.

Nehemiah 7:5a “So my God gave me the idea to call together all the nobles and leaders of the city, along with the ordinary citizens, for registration.” (NLT)

What ideas has God been giving us to do and what actions have we took? Are we secure enough in our faith to step up and make a difference as He wants us to?

We are here for a reason. We have a purpose. There is something daily we could and should be doing for God. What action are you going to take today?

ACTION STEPS:
1. Write down some things God is calling you to do.
2. List what actions you have taken and other actions to take.
3. Know that God will help you get these things done.
4. Go to Him and pray with faith that He will give you the answer to take action.

When we study God’s word, we will be able to tell what ideas we have that are His and what ideas we have that are of the world. We should only act on ideas from God.

Knowing God has a reason for us to be here, why aren’t we taking action on the ideas He gives us to serve Him?

1 Timothy 4:8 “Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (NLT)

I CAN DO ITWe can be our own worst enemies. Sometimes we think too much. Sometimes we put ourselves down. Sometimes we treat ourselves worse than we treat others. Maybe it’s time we stop beating ourselves up over things and took time to talk more positively, take care of our bodies and find ways to encourage ourselves to do more. Then we can become a leader to others portraying the self-confidence we need to get things done.

First, we need to look at how we talk to ourselves. How many times do we catch ourselves saying that we aren’t good enough? We don’t know enough? We don’t look as good as we could? The list goes on and on. Our self-talk should be the first thing we change.

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (NKJV)

Next, we need to look at how we take care of ourselves. What things do we do to and put into our bodies. How are we taking care of the bodies God has given us? God only gave us one body so we need to be sure that we do what is best for it so we can give Him our best and we can better serve others.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (NLT)

Finally, we need to look at how we encourage ourselves. Once we talk better to ourselves and take better care of ourselves, then we need to be sure we encourage ourselves along the way knowing that God wants us to succeed and wants to help us.

Joshua 1:9 “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (NLT)

God doesn’t want us to be our own worst enemies. God wants us to succeed. To be a great leader, we have to believe in ourselves. We have to know that God has a purpose for us and that we will not fail if we are doing His will. So it’s time to stop beating ourselves us and start lifting up our arms and eyes to God so He can show us what His will is.

Leadership starts from within. Within us God has created a masterpiece. We are unique. We are special. We will slip and we will fall, but God is with us no matter what we do and ready to get us back on track for Him.

Let’s memorize Joshua 1:9 today and say it to ourselves each and every day to remind us that God is with us wherever we go. He thinks we are special and wants us to succeed as a leader.

Sometimes we get very tired of people letting us down. We get very frustrated and aggravated when someone doesn’t do what we want them to do or what we believe they should do. We get upset when others don’t follow through with what they said they were going to do. We spend a lot of time and energy getting mad and talking about them when maybe we should spend more time and energy on helping.

Maybe our expectations are too high of them. Maybe they really had good intentions. Or it could be that maybe they just don’t care. It’s really hard to know the real reasons behind why others let us down. When we put our hope in others and expect more than they can deliver, we need to step back and determine if what we are asking of them is realistic. We should think about these things:

Do I really know what is going on in his or her life?

  1. Is what I want important enough to get upset about?
  2. Is there anything I can do to help them out?
  3. What other options do I have rather than to rely on them?

The last question is key. What other options do we have rather than relying on others? When we take the focus off of what they are doing (or not doing) that is really aggravating us, we can step back and see their side of the story. They may be dealing with an frustrating situation we don’t even know about. They may have circumstances beyond their control that keeps them from following through with us. They may not have the knowledge, skill or desire to do what we are asking of them.

Rather than getting aggravated with others when they let us down, let’s look for ways to help them. Let’s look for what we can do for them. Let’s be more concerned about their situation and know that when we help them, it will help us as well. We will become better people. We will become better listeners when we decide to find out what all is going on their lives. We will be able to listen and help.

It’s all about a mindset. We can get irritated and all upset about the situation or we can do something about it. If we choose to let it go and find out how we can help them, we will take the focus off of us and on them. God wants us to stop focusing on ourselves and start focusing on others. When others let us down, that may be God saying “hey, they need your help” and He wants us to use that opportunity to be a witness for Him. God will never let us down so we can always put our hope and trust in Him.

Next time someone lets you down, do this:

Ask them what is going on in their lives.

  1. Think about how you can help.
  2. Take action helping them with their situation.
  3. Use it as an opportunity to share God with them.

Romans 5:5 “And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (NLT)

When we think about the people who really made a difference in life, Andy Griffith comes to mind. Everyone has heard of him. There are so many things we can learn from him. Even though he has passed, he has left behind some important life lessons to always remember.

Put God first. He wasn’t afraid to show his family going to church. He showed us there were sometimes issues in the church but they worked through them.

Have fun. He enjoyed life. He worked hard but had fun doing it. He was spontaneous in his work and didn’t mind taking on new ideas.

Learn something. He taught others. He had a message in every show about how we should live life. He wanted us to remember not to get too stressed about anything but look for learning opportunities in all we do.

Enjoy what you do. In his real life, he was persistent in his career. He was flexible about what he did and he continued to work doing what he loved.

We will miss you, Andy, but we are so appreciative of the legacy you left behind and the lessons that can continue to be learned in future generations. Thank you for making a difference!

For us, we need to remember why we are here on earth. We need to put God first, have fun, learn something and enjoy what we do. We can learn this from Andy and, perhaps, leave a legacy of our own behind for others as well.

A great way to make a difference is to “leave a Breadcrumb.” Order your free set of Breadcrumbs at www.leaveabreadcrumb.com