For Your Own Good by Bombi

ID 35560773 © Zoran Zeremski | Dreamstime.com

“I feel like you don’t like me dad,” the little boy said to his father after being scolded for talking in class instead of paying attention to his teacher. I’m pretty sure he was sincere in his feeling, but he was naïve to the fact that his father more than likes him, he loves him. So many times I can look at the correlation between children and me as God’s kid. So much applies. The positive stuff applies, like the blind faith kids have in their parents and the world during their wonderful early years. The other stuff applies as well, you know, the life lesson stuff.

Sometimes when God corrects us and sends correction our way, we think He doesn’t like us anymore. Maybe you don’t, but I’ve had that pop into my head. Maybe not necessarily that He doesn’t like me, but more than that I see Sally over there acting a fool and she gets a pass. She gets to run her life amuck and yet she still has and gets to do and be all that she wants, or so it seems.

When I was a child, I didn’t know what my parents knew. I didn’t see all that they were seeing. I saw what I saw and came to conclusions every now and again that life is unfair. Now I’m all grown up and I’m a parent. I’m responsible for a little man and a little woman. I am responsible to see that they are cared for in every way. I am responsible to bring correction into their lives so that they grow up to be like straight oak trees, not crooked broken shrubs. My husband and I make the easy and hard decisions for their lives now. It’s not based on liking them, or if they are likeable, but because we love them. We are their parents and we are looking out for them whether they understand that or not. For you, God is doing the same (only perfectly). He’s closed some doors you didn’t think He would. He’s opened others that have totally surprised you. He’s not answered your prayers as quickly as you’ve prayed them. He’s had you wait and wait and wait. He’s brought you correction, even when it hurt. He did it and does it because He loves you. He is your father and you belong to Him.

Hebrews 12:6-11 (NIV)

6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a] 7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Photo Credit:ID-35560773-©-Zoran-Zeremski-Dreamstime.com

 

Taking Love To The Next Level by Sonya

ID 33404335 © Mauro Rodrigues | Dreamstime.com

“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” Ephesians 4:2

Taking love to next level in all we do should be our aim for this New Year and coming into Valentine’s Day as we focus in on others.  “Love your neighbor as yourself,” Mark 12:31 explains it that this is the second and no commandment greater.  What does this mean and look like?

Looking at Luke 6: 32-34. It talks about if you love those who love you or do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? There is no benefit because even sinners that don’t know Jesus do the same thing. But love your enemies is different and takes it to the next level. Luke 6: 35-36 says, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” If we can truly love those that are unlovable in our own minds or we love the people that have something against us and those people that have hurt you, then God tells us that loving those people with all our hearts means our reward will be great!  This kind of love is called “crazy love” to me.  This  “crazy” love takes it to the next level and Christ showed us that once and for all when He died on the cross for each one of us.  We don’t deserve the kind of love Christ showed us but He loves us even if we mess up and refuse to acknowledge Him. Now that is “crazy” love He has for us!  I want to experience that same love where it doesn’t seem to make sense to love someone who has hurt you or been so mean to you or backstabbed you!

God is in the business of demonstrating love to everyone even when we don’t deserve it. We are His vessels of love towards others and we need to use the love He has shown us and take it to the next level in our own life.  Show kindness to others when we don’t’ feel like it or to the people that have turned their back on you! Care for those that are not like you or are lonely and need a hand.  In these situations you humble yourself to serve one another out of love.  Now that is “crazy love”, are you ready to take love to the next level? It is worth a shot because our reward will be great with our Heavenly Father!

 

Photo Credit:ID-33404335-©-Mauro-Rodrigues-Dreamstime.com-

Running On “E” by Trish

 

ID 64625405 © Stokkete | Dreamstime.com

Okay ladies let’s be honest. It’s only February and this year has been operating in full gear since Jan 1st! For some of my dear friends, this year has already presented incredible obstacles  and for others this year has been non-stop days filled with to-do lists that never seems to end.

It’s go, go, go …run here, run here, serve here, take care of this and be mindful of that and if we’re not careful we find ourselves running on empty.

As women we are caregivers by nature. We are helpers, entrepreneurs, businesswomen, mothers, wives, friends, homemakers, encouragers, counselors and so much more. However at the end of the day the most important title we will have is “daughter of God”. All of the other roles express what we do but we were created to be God’s beloved.

Last month I wrote about being committed to joy as this is where our strength comes from. Oh, how I have needed to be reminded of this so many times in this New Year already. I cannot give what I do not have and I cannot obtain what I do not partake of.

Simply put, a person will not have within their natural bodies the nutrients needed to operate at full capacity if they are not eating the proper foods or eating at all for that matter. The Bible tells us that daily He loads us with benefits. We’re also told that no good thing will He withhold from us …we have access to all that we need but we must take the time to partake in His provision.

I can only imagine how a nursing mom must take care of herself because another person’s health and growth depends on the nourishment she provides. What if the nursing mother chose to starve herself? Her decision to not focus on her needs would affect the growth of another life.

Ladies, we have those who depend on us our spouses, children, families, co-workers, employees, and ministries. It’s different for each person because our assignments are different. One thing still remains the same we must be well so we can serve others well.

It’s not selfish to take care of your needs. There is nothing wrong with ensuring I’m taken care of so that I can then be a true blessing to those around me.I tell people all the time, it is so evident in my life when I’ve not spent time with God. He’s my filling station. In His presence I’m loved, restored, encouraged and recharged to do what I’m called to.

Taking care of you is not only spiritual but natural as well. A goal I personally must develop and make a priority. I’m not able to serve and be my best if I’m tired and fatigued.  I need to make sure I’m eating the right foods, drinking water, exercising and getting proper rest. Here’s a practical tip, find something special that makes you feel better and more alive. For some it may be dance lessons, a workout class, a spa day, or something as simple as a night off to just watch movies or catch up on a novel. Whatever fills you back up, do it and get rejuvenated!

Lastly, if you find yourself running on E pay close attention to the people you speak with daily. Are they encouraging you or draining you? If the amount of attention and focus you’re giving to someone else is cutting into your personal supply of joy, peace and patience it’s time to re-evaluate how you spend your time and who you spend it with.

What you give to others should not come from your personal reservoir but the overflow of what your life is filled with.

Let’s encourage one another to remain filled to overflowing so we’re able to be our best and fulfill all that God has for our lives!

 

Photo Credit:ID-64625405-©-Stokkete-Dreamstime.com_

New Year, New You by Kenika

 

 

 

ID 48660933 © Gpointstudio | Dreamstime.com            Before you jump to thinking you’ve already figured out exactly what I’m going to say, give me a chance to explain.  I saw a meme the other day that said, “My new year is actually starting February 1st.  January was just a warm up.”  I chuckled at it, but then I said to myself, “That sounds good to me!”  At the end of the year we make our resolutions, resolves and promises, but January is that month that’s like a make or break.  We get a good start and eventually stop around February or March, or it becomes apparent that we aren’t ever going to get started at all.

After all the declarations we’ve made, the end of January can make us feel like unproductive failures all over again.  That’s because a new year doesn’t automatically mean a “new you”, you’re still you, and nothing is going to change until you change.  If 2016 rolled in and we are all still doing the same things we were doing in 2015, that’s not the year’s fault or responsibility, it’s ours.  We have to change our habits and do all that we can do combat our usual proclivities.

This year can be different for you, but you have to work on changing you. Adjusting the way you go about doing things, learning and growing from past mistakes.  The very well known definition of insanity is, “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  Don’t let this year be a repeat of all the years you promised to change in the past, let this season be the one where you make the adjustments to get desired results. Do something new so that you can reasonably expect results that are different. Let’s go!

Photo Credit:ID 48660933 © Gpointstudio | Dreamstime.com