What if…

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Dear Lord,

What if I did not have the ability to speak?

I imagine I would dream of all the sweet and wonderful things I would say!

I would long to tell my husband, my children, and everyone You put in my path

good things, encouraging things, important, meaningful things.

I would not think of wasting my words on lesser things.

Or what if I were only given a maximum number of words per day?!

I wouldn’t dare waste them away…the way I now so foolishly do

Since I never think of not having this liberty…

The liberty to speak whatever, whenever, however, and as much as I please.

O, Lord, may I be wise,

May I only use words to minister grace, bless, edify, encourage,

and admonish with great care and love.

Purify my heart to spill over with gratitude in everything,

So love and joy ~ You will supernaturally overflow from all of me.

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You Can Turn Your Whine into Worship

It is sinful, human nature to gripe about things. But, it is dangerous. Whining and complaining is like a nasty disease that will spread quickly and violently if it’s not treated right away! And we all know that once we have developed a bad habit it is not easy to turn it around! The sooner we can catch that nasty habit, and do something about it, the better!

Children seem to be especially prone to whining, and sadly many never outgrow it. Parents have to train them that they do not get what they want by whining but by being grateful and we have to train them to look for and see their blessings. At our house, with the Lord’s help, we’ve tried to think of ways we can discipline ourselves to worship instead of whine. Here are some new habits we are developing in our family.

*** Every time we pray before we ask the Lord for anything we first thank Him for something! This is a great way to train ourselves to see our blessings and praise the Lord for all He has done! God inhabits the praises of His people! That is where He lives, and dwells! And, it’s wonderful how gratitude always radically changes our outlook, our perspective…an added blessing!

*** When any of us is griping, or grumbling about anything, such as, their sister, their friend, their food, cleaning their room, putting their laundry away, loading the dishwasher, their schoolwork, their hair, their toys, not feeling well, the many chores of homemaking and motherhood, or whatever it is, then we stop and say “Do not complain about your blessings!”. When we look at what’s bothering us in a different light then we realize that we are really complaining about our blessings.

What if something happened to that precious sister, family member or friend!

What if we only had beans and rice as our one and only meal of the day or what if we had no food at all! What if we couldn’t make that trip to the grocery store with all those heavy bags to unload into the trunk then unload them again into the house then unload them again into the pantry? It’s all a blessing!!!

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Some children would love to have a bedroom to clean with a bed of soft, warm covers and a pillow to make up, and clothes, shoes, toys and games to pick up and put away! And what a blessing that we are healthy enough to do these tasks!

What a blessing to have soap and hot water to wash dishes and an added blessing to have a machine that cleans them for us! And by the way, we have a machine for just about anything…we have machines that wash and dry the clothes, wash and dry the dishes, cook the food when and how we tell it to, sweep the floors! And when there are dishes to wash and a kitchen to clean that’s a sure reminder that there was food to eat and family or friends to share and enjoy a meal with!!!

There are children in the world that long to go to school and learn! There are children and adults who only dream of having shelves full of books to read anytime they want, school supplies and workbooks and pencils and paper and crayons and computers! My goodness! And what else? Eyes to see, ears to hear, hands and fingers to write, a mind to think.

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And most of the time whatever we are going through, whatever illness or condition, we can always be so thankful it is not worse than it is.

On and on we can go, because our blessings are so rich and bountiful when we think about how much we don’t do without and the multitude of annoyances, trials or horrors we do not have to endure!!! We have nothing to complain about and much, much, much to be thankful for!!!

*** Lastly, the newest habit we are implementing is this. As soon as one of us starts whining we stop them and immediately they must say, “A blessing I am thankful for is______________.” This turns our whine into worship right away!

It’s so good to share new ideas for living out God’s Word in a real way! What are ways that you have turned whine into worship? Has it become a way of life for you, for your family?

Walking with Jesus &
Growing in grace,

~photos courtesy of Amazima Ministries

Change My Heart, O, God!
Amazima Ministries
Amazima Ministries blog
Kisses from Katie blog
A Harvest of What is Yet to Come

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Turn Your Whine into Worship

It is sinful, human nature to gripe about things. But, it is dangerous. Whining and complaining is like a nasty disease that will spread quickly and violently if it’s not treated right away! And we all know that once we have developed a bad habit it is not easy to turn it around! The sooner we can catch that nasty habit, and do something about it, the better!

Children seem to be especially prone to whining, and sadly many never outgrow it. Parents have to train them that they do not get what they want by whining but by being grateful and we have to train them to look for and see their blessings. At our house, with the Lord’s help, we’ve tried to think of ways we can discipline ourselves to worship instead of whine. Here are some new habits we are developing in our family.

*** Every time we pray before we ask the Lord for anything we first thank Him for something! This is a great way to train ourselves to see our blessings and praise the Lord for all He has done! God inhabits the praises of His people! That is where He lives, and dwells! And, it’s wonderful how gratitude always radically changes our outlook, our perspective…an added blessing!

*** When any of us is griping, or grumbling about anything, such as, their sister, their friend, their food, cleaning their room, putting their laundry away, loading the dishwasher, their schoolwork, their hair, their toys, not feeling well, the many chores of homemaking and motherhood, or whatever it is, then we stop and say “Do not complain about your blessings!”. When we look at what’s bothering us in a different light then we realize that we are really complaining about our blessings.

What if something happened to that precious sister, family member or friend!

What if we only had beans and rice as our one and only meal of the day or what if we had no food at all! What if we couldn’t make that trip to the grocery store with all those heavy bags to unload into the trunk then unload them again into the house then unload them again into the pantry? It’s all a blessing!!!

20120421-132112.jpg

Some children would love to have a bedroom to clean with a bed of soft, warm covers and a pillow to make up, and clothes, shoes, toys and games to pick up and put away! And what a blessing that we are healthy enough to do these tasks!

What a blessing to have soap and hot water to wash dishes and an added blessing to have a machine that cleans them for us! And by the way, we have a machine for just about anything…we have machines that wash and dry the clothes, wash and dry the dishes, cook the food when and how we tell it to, sweep the floors! And when there are dishes to wash and a kitchen to clean that’s a sure reminder that there was food to eat and family or friends to share and enjoy a meal with!!!

There are children in the world that long to go to school and learn! There are children and adults who only dream of having shelves full of books to read anytime they want, school supplies and workbooks and pencils and paper and crayons and computers! My goodness! And what else? Eyes to see, ears to hear, hands and fingers to write, a mind to think.

20120421-132241.jpg

20120421-132526.jpg

And most of the time whatever we are going through, whatever illness or condition, we can always be so thankful it is not worse than it is.

On and on we can go, because our blessings are so rich and bountiful when we think about how much we don’t do without and the multitude of annoyances, trials or horrors we do not have to endure!!! We have nothing to complain about and much, much, much to be thankful for!!!

*** Lastly, the newest habit we are implementing is this. As soon as one of us starts whining we stop them and immediately they must say, “A blessing I am thankful for is______________.” This turns our whine into worship right away!

It’s so good to share new ideas for living out God’s Word in a real way! What are ways that you have turned whine into worship? Has it become a way of life for you, for your family?

Walking with Jesus &
Growing in grace,

~photos courtesy of Amazima Ministries

Change My Heart, O, God!
Amazima Ministries
Amazima Ministries blog
Kisses from Katie blog
A Harvest of What is Yet to Come

Magnify the Lord With Me!

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When we use a magnifying glass to view an object it becomes easier to see. The object appears large to us so we may see it better, more vividly, in detail…bringing it into clear view, or near.

That’s how I want to live for The Lord! I want my life to magnify GOD! You and I can be women who live lives like that, you know. Our life, our choices, our countenance, our manner, our speech, our behavious, our habits can all make The LORD appear larger to everyone who sees us! We can magnify Him with our life; bring Him into clear view, plain sight!

Psalm 30 says, I will extol Thee, O LORD. I love the definition and synonyms I found for extol!

Praise highly!
Celebrate!
Bless!
Exalt!
Laud!
Glorify!
Magnify!

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Now look with me at “glorify“…

To bestow honor, praise, admiration!
Elevate to celestial glory!
Light up brilliantly!
Represent as glorious!

I want to share how a couple of these definitions have encouraged me. This one, light up brilliantly, especially inspires me! Wow! Do my habits, does my character, brilliantly light up The LORD!?! How about my attitude in every situation? Does it brilliantly bring light to Jesus?

Next, does my life accurately represent our glorious God? He is holy. He is good. He is wise. He is kind. He is merciful and faithful. Ouch! Help me, Lord, truthfully represent You!

Oh what a great proclamation in verse 12 as Psalm 30 closes…

To the end that my glory (translated, my soul) may sing praise to Thee,

And not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto Thee for ever!

Growing in grace,

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Choosing Gratitude ~ Week 6

Good morning GIG ladies!

I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Resurrection Day! We had a very nice Easter Sunday service, didn’t we?! We are looking forward to gathering together again Sunday morning continuing our Bible study, Choosing Gratitude: Your Journey to Joy by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

This Sunday our lesson will cover Chapter 6, “How Can I Say Thanks?”.

Throughout this week in our devotional journals we will be on

Day 16: Sing and Give Thanks ~ Psalm 30
Day 17: Happiness Is… ~ Proverbs 3:13-18
Day 18: The High Cost of Gratitude ~ I Cor 10:1-13

I will bring a brief lesson and invite everyone to share a little something from your own quiet times this week. Let’s remember to pray for each another, pray for our time together in class this Sunday, pray for all of our Sunday School classes at Hope, our church family, ministries, missionaries, and our Pastors, staff and their families. And, this week, let’s invite someone to come to Sunday School with us!

Have a day filled with blessings!

Growing in grace,
Melissa
II Cor 9:8

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Good Morning Girls ~ Ephesians Week 12 ~ Part I

On this closing day of our Good Morning Girls Ephesians book club I share with you our final week’s study notes in two parts. It has been a joy to study along with you! The book of Ephesians has blessed my heart, blessed my life and spurred me on in the Lord!

God bless you as you continue to devote a portion of every day to spend time with Jesus, the King of kings! It’s a daily Father/Daughter date! That He would meet with me makes me feel so cared for! I know I am loved by Almighty God, the Designer and Creator of the Universe!

Now notes from Ephesians…

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Thursday, March 29, 2012
Good morning!:) In Ephesians 6:7-8 Paul continues to teach how we are to obey our masters.
We are to have good intentions, good will toward them or we could also say, no ill-will or ill-intent. We should also know that the Lord will reward all we do here in earth and in heaven.
As I go about my duties, am I respectful or am I critical? Am I guarded against being self-centered or having an entitlement attitude or do I have genuine good will toward those I serve?

Friday, March 30, 2012
Good morning, Ephesians Book Club!:) Today we are in Ephesians 6:9. Masters, (leaders, bosses), just as servants/workers are expected to treat you w/respect, sincerity, and genuine good will, masters are to dedicate themselves to do likewise. Give up disrespectful, threatening leadership. Human masters are to know that their Master is in Heaven judging earthly matters without partiality. Recall Philippians 2:3!

Let nothing be done
through strife or vainglory;
but in lowliness of mind
let each esteem other
better than themselves.

Whether the captain or the crew, may we always serve others and esteem them better then ourselves!

Monday, April 2, 2012
Good Morning as we kick off the final week of our Ephesians Bible study/book club with Ephesians 6:10-12! Until the Lord returns let us all continually be strengthened by His mighty power! It is imperative that we arm ourselves with the equipment God has provided in order for us to stand in the battle against the devil’s schemes. While it may appear our enemy is mankind, it is not. Our enemy is the devil and his workers. This is a spiritual battle for eternal souls!
Therefore, let’s stop fighting each other, especially at home, remember these conflicts we face daily are only temporal. What really matters is Eternity! So, when I’m in a struggle, I’ll keep putting on the whole armor of God and then ask myself, in light of Eternity does this really matter!?!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Good Morning to you! Do you start your day, head into battle, without putting on your armor? God tells us in Ephesians 6:13-15 & also 16-17 this is our defense against the evil that continually threatens His children in this world. Just as it’d be crazy to show up for combat wearing blue jeans, t-shirt, flip flops, carrying a squirt gun, it’s just as foolish and naive to walk in this world an unprepared, unarmed Christian. Literally, let’s put on our full armor of God before we face each day encounter any situation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Good morning! We are almost to the end of the book of Ephesians! And signs show we quickly are nearing the end of this age, though no one knows the end but the Father. Times are hard. The devil is frantic. Christians must stand strong! Take up the shield of faith, put on the helmet of salvation, hold on to the Sword of the Spririt~God’s Word! We can quench the fiery darts of the devil! Watch over yourselves, your family, your home! Let’s give him no foothold! Let’s look alive! Let’s suit up! (Ephesians 6:16-17)

Thursday, April 5, 2012
Good morning! From Ephesians 6:18 my encouragement today is this… After “having done all to stand” we are then told to PRAY for one another in the Spirit. Remember on every occasion, every chance we get to earnestly and humbly seek God. Watch, pay attention, be vigilant. Despite the difficulties, despite setbacks, despite opposition LOOK to GOD, PRAY and STAND against the fiery darts of evil! Steadfastly FOLLOW after that which is GOOD! Take our eyes off the world and keep our eyes on the LORD! We can do that! God bless you and your family! God bless your home!

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Walking with Jesus,

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Good Morning Girls ~ Ephesians Week 12 ~ Part II

Good Morning Girls ~ Ephesians Week 12 ~ Part II

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Friday, April 6, 2012
Good Morning on this final day of our GMG Ephesians book study! It’s been a blessed journey!

Today we close with Paul’s detailed request for prayer in Ephesians 6: 19-24. I see 7 requests on his prayer list that progressively become more specific.

May this be our prayer, as well.

1- I pray that God will give me *utterance; that He will give me a voice, an opportunity to speak.

*utterance: articulation; a stated or published expression; a voice; power, style or manner of speaking

2- I pray that I will open my mouth *boldly.

*boldly: fearlessly, bravely; confident, assured

3- I pray that I will be a witness and promote the Gospel of truth.

4- I pray that I will be a witness wherever I am speaking assuredly just as the Lord would have me speak.

5- I pray that I will be transparent and accountable to the family of God.

6- I pray that I, with my family or any other team I might minister alongside, will be a comfort and an encouragement to the family of God, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

7- I pray that I will be a blessing, bringing to the brethren who sincerely love Jesus…peace, God’s faithful love, and grace.

Walking with Jesus,

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*Good Morning Girls ~ Ephesians Week 12 ~ Part I

-photo credit: source unknown

A Boost from Ephesians

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Good Morning as we kick off the final week of our Ephesians Bible study/book club w/Eph 6:10-12!

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Until the Lord returns let us all continually be strengthened by His mighty power!

It is imperative that we arm ourselves with the equipment God has provided in order for us to stand in the battle against the devil’s schemes.

While it may appear our enemy is mankind, it is not. Our enemy is the devil and his workers. This is a spiritual battle for eternal souls!

Therefore, let’s stop fighting one another, especially at home, remember these conflicts we face daily are only temporal.

What really matters is Eternity!

So, when I’m in a struggle, I’ll keep putting on the whole armor of God & then ask myself…in light of Eternity does this really matter!?!