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Archive for the ‘Practical Christian Living’ Category

Nosy

We’ve all heard the old saying, “Curiosity killed the cat”.

Don’t be too nosy, you just might end up being hurt.

The mind of man is a busy thing; if it is not employed in doing good, it will be doing evil. It is an excellent, but rare union, to be active in our own business, yet quiet as to other people’s.

From “The Message”:

Leviticus 19:16 

  Don’t spread gossip and rumors.

          Don’t just stand by when your neighbor’s life is in danger.

I am God.

Proverbs 20:3

It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
   but fools love to pick fights.

King James:

2 Thessalonians 3:11 &12

For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies

Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

1 Timothy 5:13

And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

Don’t be NOSY and have a blessed life!

 

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           In Tune with Christ
  

Sometimes meetings are begun with an important note. That note is
something not to be missed. Perhaps everything else said or the business
conducted in that meeting hinges on this important note.
 

With an orchestra there is an important note with which to begin. Before
a performance, there is a note given from which the whole orchestra tunes.
However, that is not just any note. The note to which an orchestra tunes is
the “A” above middle “C” which is standardized at a frequency of 440 hertz.
This note is usually given to the rest of the orchestra by the oboe player
who has matched their note with an electronic tuner.
  

On what note is our life being lived? Have we just picked any note? Like
an orchestra that cannot play in harmony if the same note is not tuned to,
so there will be discord in life when everyone chooses their own note on
which to base life. I submit to you that the note to which we need to tune
our lives is “C”, and a very high one at that!
 

In Paul’s letter to the church at Rome we read.
       “(15) May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to LIVE
IN SUCH HARMONY with one another, IN ACCORD WITH CHRIST JESUS, (6) that
together you may with ONE VOICE glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ. (7) Therefore WELCOME one another AS CHRIST HAS WELCOMED you, for
the glory of God.” (Romans 15:5-7 ESV)
   “In accord with CHRIST JESUS.” CHRIST is to be the note to which our
life is tuned. The Greek word “kata” (translated “accord”) is a preposition
meaning “according to.” It bears the idea of “after the manner of” or “in
accordance with.” For us to be in accord is to be in agreement, to have
consensus, and to be in harmony. Having our lives tuned to CHRIST is the
only way we can all blend as the “one voice” Paul urged the church at Rome
toward.
 

Let us bear in mind that though we are the players (and singers) in this
realm, life’s “score” was written by God and He is to be recognized as the
conductor of it. Just as the “A” makes a difference for the orchestra, even
more so having our lives IN TUNE WITH CHRIST will make all the world of
difference with our blending together. Let us therefore take “LIFE’S PITCH”
as the “C” for CHRIST so that harmony may exist to the glory of God.

(Thank You Carl)

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We live in such a crazy and sin sick world.  The news is depressing.  You, like me have probably turned it all off for a few days at a time.  We just can’t stand to hear anything else BAD.  What I am about to write may seem to simplistic, however it is true.  If we focus on things that are lovely, of good report, etc.  our minds won’t be so stressed by the things of this world.  Give it a try and see how much better you feel.

Page after page can be written about a person’s life.  We call this a biographical view of an individual.  However, sometimes a biography can be summed up in just a few words.  These expressions refer to the character and/or impact someone had on the lives of those they lived around.  Last year, in our ladies ministries of the UPCI we focused on “Leaving a LEGACY”.  Usually when you mention someone’s name who has gone on to their reward you don’t go into a great dissertation.  You simply say things like, “He was a GOOD man”.  “What a man of WISDOM”.  “She was such a LADY”.  “She was a QUEEN”,  etc. and we all know what you are talking about.  That one word pretty much sums it up, how a person lived their life.

When Peter was sharing the Gospel with Cornelius and his household, before pointing to the Crucified Christ and the forgiveness of sins that can be received in His Name…He summed up the life of Christ like this:

Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

GOOD is what we can expect associated with God.

GOODNESS is what marked the essence of Jesus being here on earth.  He was GOOD to others.  It wasn’t because they deserved it but because it was needed and would ultimately bring glory to God. 

When Jesus was to come on the world scene it was announced by angels with GOODNESS….Luke says it like this, “Fear Not, for behold I bring you GOOD NEWS of a great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus came to earth during a time when there was definitely a need for some GOODNESS.  We live in such a time right now, today!  Among all the bad news there is need for GOOD NEWS and maintaining our focus on Jesus!  If we seriously focus on the GOODNESS of Jesus and portray that in our lives, then we will have opportunity to share the GOOD NEWS with people in this trying time.  Folks will want to know why you can be so happy and peaceful in this time of insecurity.  Keep your focus on JESUS! 

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.  Look full in His wonderful face.  And the things of this world will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Have a GOOD Day for GOODNESS sake. 

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God is not a respecter of persons but He is a respecter of principals. He has plans for everyone to accomplish great things. Don’t believe anything other than Jer. 29:11(Amplified Bible)–For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Here are a few principals to help you start today!

1. Work Like it is up to you and pray like it is up to God!  Work hard and pray hard! God wants to help you more than you want His help.

2. Have a concise plan of where and what you want to accomplish. Write it down  in detail. Then write down how you think you will accomplish it.

3. Do 5 things every day that drives you in that direction.

4. ASK for help. Surround yourself with a team of people who share your passion.

5. Contact someone who has already done what you want and ask for them to coach you. Be willing to do what they ask.

6. Align yourself with the authorities in your life.

7. Be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way and give 110% like it is where you already want to be.

8. Take risk. Sometimes when you live on the edge you will fall off but you will miss 100% of the opportunities that you never try! The worst thing that could happen is most likely where you already are.

9. Take serious action today. Don’t wait one more day!

10. Do what you love! Most likely your gift is in someway connected!

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While talking to a friend not to long ago (a new pastor’s wife), I realized that she had lost the “wonder of it all”. She was bogged down with the cares of the church and people that she felt like had not treated her, her husband (the pastor) and the saints of God right. After trying to encourage her I began to think about it and how we can allow such things to overwhelm us if we are not careful. I guess this would be especially for my pastor wife friends, however, good for everyone. 🙂 Don’t lose the “WONDER OF IT ALL”. Our relationship with God is so important. We cannot let it go. Our everyday devotions are so important. We cannot let them go. Our time reading HIS word is so important. We cannot let it go. NOTHING should be allowed to come in between our relationship with the Lord. Well meaning people cannot take that away from us or we lose “the wonder of it all”. Jesus said that he came to give life and that more abundantly. And yes, that still means for us too. Not just for the people we are trying to reach and who are in our congregations. The best thing that you can do for the people you are trying to help is keep your spirit fresh and prayed up. I still get thrilled with Jesus! I keep falling in Love with Him. He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. When I go to church I still love lifting my hands and giving Him praise. I love to dance before my Lord. He is the “wonder of it all”. If I lose that, I have lost everything. Keep the faith, ladies! Keep believing! God can do anything! He can take care of any situation! The next time you enter into your church, enter with the intention of receiving a blessing. Keep the “wonder of it all” alive and well in your life. Keep Jesus your very best friend!

The Wonder of It All!

Who can compare? Who could replace?

I’m overwhelmed by who you are. I can never be the same.

I lift my eyes to meet your gaze. Oh how you take my breath away.

I can never be the same beloved friend.

I bow down. Adore your name.

I cry out worthy, worthy.

You are God.

There is none beside you.

I have been captured. I have been captured.

You’re the wonder of it all.

You’re the wonder of it all.

(words and music: Sarah Parsons and Paul Sims)

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Wanna’ stay healthy longer? Studies show a robust prayer life can lengthen life and mitigate illnesses.

Methuselah lived to be nearly 1,000-years-old? Maybe he had a good prayer life.

A recent study from the Duke University Medical Center, involving 4,000 older adults, indicates. that even occasional, private prayer and Bible study helped people live healthier and longer lives.

“This is one of the first studies showing that people who pray live longer,” said researcher Harold Koenig.

Dr. David Stevens, a family practitioner and executive director of the Christian Medical Association, said Christians shouldn’t be surprised.

“People who are anxious, worried and depressed do poorly when they’re sick,” Stevens said. “Those with hope and peace in the midst of a [health] struggle seem to do much better. People with religious commitments have that hope and peace.”

Dr. Bob Orr, director of clinical ethics at the University of Vermont’s Fletcher Allen Health Care, says prayer brings a definite physiological benefit.

“I certainly encourage people who are believers to pray,” Orr said. “My observation is the person who prays is less stressed. He becomes less anxious and his blood pressure and pulse improve.”

Stevens pointed to one study which showed the risk of diastolic hypertension was 40 percent lower among those who studied the Bible daily and attended church weekly. Another study concluded that elderly heart patients were 14 times less likely to die after surgery if they found comfort in religious faith.

“This has an impact on longevity,” Stevens said. “The overall life expectancy gap is seven years between those who go to church once a week versus those who don’t attend at all. We will live longer if we have a strong faith.”

Clem Boyd is a freelance writer and part-time minister in Dayton, Ohio.

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The following list was taken from this book: How Did I Get So Busy? Written by Valorie Burton. Thanks to my friend Gail for sending this to me. I thought it was so good I wanted to share it with you all. We do get so busy sometimes that we forget the simplest of things. Maybe this will help keep us on track.

 

books

Dear Friend,

Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of things we know to do, but haven’t done. Perhaps our paths are crossing this week because you need a reminder of how important it is to take good care of yourself. When you do so, taking care of everything and everyone else becomes a less stressful endeavor. So this week, I would like to share what I call the “10 Commandments of Self-Care” from my new book, How Did I Get So Busy? Make them your personal habits, and you’ll create a self-care lifestyle that nourishes your mind, body and spirit:

The 10 Commandments of Self-Care

1. Use all of your vacation time every year.
Be intentional about taking time off. Take out your calendar this week and schedule your vacation time for the next 12 months.

2. Commit your time off solely to non-work related activities.
Keep your time with family and friends sacred by setting boundaries around your personal time so that work does not interfere. You need time to recuperate from work so that you’ll be more professionally productive. If you work from home, set work hours and close the office door during your off hours.

3. Take your rest seriously.
We’ve all heard it, but too few practice it: Get eight hours of sleep. Being well-rested builds immunity, keeps you from being irritable, and simply gives your body what it needs. Be a good steward over the body you’ve been blessed with. It may take some extra discipline to do it consistently, but you can do it. How about starting tonight?
4. Have fun at least once a week.
What do you like to do for fun? Having fun every day would be the ideal, but try to at least do something simply for the fun of it on a weekly basis. Scientific studies have shown that positive emotion builds your emotional capacity to handle adversity and stress, and be more open and creative. If life’s gotten so hectic that you don’t even know what to do for fun, make a game out of trying new things until you find what’s fun for you.

5. Eat regularly, preferably sitting down. 🙂
Do you eat on the go? Skip meals? Dine in front of the television? Eating offers an opportunity not only to refuel your body, but to reconnect with yourself and others. If you don’t have time to eat three meals a day sitting down, it’s a sign that it’s time to reclaim your schedule.

6. Exercise regularly, preferably standing up. 🙂
It is essential to stand up and get moving! Whether it’s walking, fitness class or a favorite sport, get your heart rate up at least three to four times per week for 30 – 45 minutes. Exercise should be a part of your life just like brushing your teeth or eating dinner. Rather than considering it “optional,” find a way to make it a part of your lifestyle.

7. Be fruitful and productive, not busy.
Do you have a habit of getting distracted easily? You start the day with a great to-do list and by 5 o’clock you’ve barely crossed anything off the list? We are meant to be fruitful – to produce the fruit of the Spirit and make meaningful progress in life. Being busy is about having a lot of activity without much to show for it. Aim to be productive.

8. Use technology to gain time, not consume it.
If you are like many people in today’s culture, you manage multiple email accounts, home, work and cell phones along with accompanying voice mail for each, text messages and perhaps a Blackberry, too. Plus, you’ve got more choices than ever with cable and satellite television, TiVo, satellite radio, and mp3 players. All of these things are supposed to give you better choices, save time and make your life better. But only if you learn to use them to gain time and not consume it. Establish personal rules with the technology you use – respond to email at specific times rather than reacting to it as soon as it arrives, turn off the cell phone at dinner and be vigilant about clearing the clutter of old messages.

9. Connect heart-to-heart with the people who matter.
One of the worst consequences of busyness is that you become disconnected from the people who matter. When having a conversation, stop multi-tasking and look the person in the eye. It says, “What you say is important.” Connect intentionally and your relationships will be better for it.

10. Be led by the Spirit.
In a busy world where everyone voices their opinion about what you should be doing, it can be tempting not to trust the voice of the Holy Spirit that speaks directly to you. The answers you need lie within you. But you have to quiet down and slow down long enough to hear that still, small voice. Have the courage to follow it. It won’t lead you astray.

My challenge to you this week:
Take care of yourself! Commit to one thing you’ll do this week from the 10 commandments of self-care, then do it.

  • P.S. I know that some of us are in a time of prayer and fasting right now so # 10 would be a good one for now.

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