Mar 21

Measuring up or Falling short

Are there times in your day when you feel like nothing goes right? Do you feel like you are always trying to measure up or catch up to others and their expectations? Of course, we all have those moments or feelings when we just don’t feel like we are doing anything right or saying anything right. We are individuals and have minds of our own with our own thoughts of how to do things.

The Old Covenant or the first Covenant in the Old Testament was like that. It was a performance-based system and people were expected to perform in a certain way to meet certain standards. The Old Covenant was set up so that no one was perfect and no one succeeded according to it’s standards. People were walking on eggshells trying to do everything written in the law. When we feel like we can’t do anything right, we often feel like we are walking on eggshells and failing others and their expectations on doing and performing daily tasks.

Then along came the New Covenant, set up to make the Old Covenant obsolete because of our ability to succeed and cooperate with it.

Now we have a better option. The New Covenant was introduced through Jesus’ death and resurrection. This New Covenant places us in perfect standing with Christ, even though we don’t perform perfectly. We can draw near to God without the fear of failing and always feeling like we can’t measure up.

There is only one way to get close to God — through the New Covenant.

Have we treated our human friendships and relationships through the eyes of the New Covenant? Are we giving others feelings of having to measure up to our expectations or are we treating them like they are perfect and there is no performance-based system to our relationships?

Treat others as you want to be treated. Treat others as God treats us. Respect. Perfection. Love. Follow His example.

Always know that God loves us and thinks we are perfect in His eyes. We must work to complete His tasks according to our standards that He says we can handle. He knows us and how much we can handle, yet He loves us enough to challenge us further along.

Mar 15

#keepmovingforward

 

 

My life verse with which I strive to live is Philippians 3:13-14:

I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.

I haven’t gotten things right in the past and I won’t get things right in the future, but I work toward the goal and being the best I can be. I strive to be like Jesus and to act like Jesus. Life is hard and decisions are difficult. As long as I am moving forward in each task and job, then I am running toward God’s goal for me.

Are you moving forward? Are you moving in the direction to follow Jesus and His ways? Are you leading others to follow Jesus?

Just #keepmovingforward and #presson.

Mar 14

T.H.I.N.K. first

 

What do you think about? How do you say what you want to say?

In the social media world, it is easier to voice our opinions and say what we want to say. Social media is a non-verbal method of communication in which we can speak freely without anyone looking straight into our eyes or talking back to us directly. We feel freer to express ideas, thoughts, and opinions without the fear of someone talking back to us or attacking us face to face.

However, social media can be a dangerous method of communication as well. While we are free to express ourselves and make our opinions and ideas known, we must remember that social media communication is forever. What is posted online, stays online. Even if we guard our friends list and only accept friend requests from people we know, social media posts can be read and seen by others with whom we may not know. Social media is an open platform of communication available throughout the internet world. What goes online can be seen by anyone with internet access, regardless of how we try to protect ourselves.

With that open communication in mind, we must work to guard ourselves and our reputations. We must T.H.I.N.K. before posting anything online. Before posting, remember to T.H.I.N.K:

Is it True?

Is it Helpful?

Is it Inspiring?

Is it Necessary?

Is it Kind?

If the words we post online and on social media pages answer no to any of the above questions, then we must think and we must not post it. Our goal and mission should be to build up and encourage others. If our posts fail to do that, then we must avoid those kinds of postings.

But… you say: It’s my page and I can post what I want.

True… it is your (our) pages. But… in reality, we cannot post whatever we want however we want to post it. We can deliver our messages in methods that speak our minds while maintaining a spirit of truth and inspiration in necessary and kind ways.

Do not post out of frustration. Take a few minutes or even days to cool off when frustrated. Most likely, after a few hours we will have had time to cool off and see a different perspective of the situation, and therefore, make more educated and thoughtful posts.

Do not post out of anger. Again, take a few minutes to cool off and decide if posting those thoughts are really worthy of posting. After all, maybe the situation is only between you and one other person; therefore, it does not need to be aired over the internet.

Do not post out of sadness. If you are feeling sad or lonely, do something as a release and occupy your mind and body to overcome that sad feeling. Read a book. Visit or call a friend. Exercise by walking or running. A good dose of endorphins will overcome sadness and get you back into a healthy emotional state.

Bottom line: Remember to T.H.I.N.K before posting. By thinking first, we do not have to retract what we have said to anyone.

 

Mar 08

Where are the sheep?

How far away are the sheep in your circle? Can you reach the sheep? Do you reach the sheep?

In Jesus’ parable about the lost sheep in Luke 15, He instructed us to leave the other 99 and go find that lost sheep. Where do we look for it? How far do we go to find it? If we keep the sheep close and maintain consistent contact and communication with the sheep, they are less likely to wander away and it is easier to connect.

Have we connected with the sheep? Do we know where our sheep are? A once a month connection may not be enough for some sheep. They may need once a week connection or even once a day connection.

What kind of connection do sheep need? Do we connect via phone call, text message, social media message, or face to face contact? It depends on the relationship and personality. Some sheep need more connection than others. Some sheep need face to face contact while others prefer a quick text.

Know your sheep. Get involved in their lives and become familiar with what drives them.

 

Feb 08

Go. Set. Ready.

“If we don’t get out of the boat, we’ll never walk on water.”

How many times have we said we will do or start something when we are ready? We say it all the time. During the Christmas holidays, we often say we will get together with someone else after the holidays, when things slow down. We often say we will start something when we finish something else. We say we will start something when we have enough money.

In reality, when is it really the right time? Will we really ever have enough money? We will really ever have enough time? Do things really ever slow down?

There are always activities and events to fill our calendars. There is always something to on which to spend our money. There is always something for which we want to save money and purchase or do.

We say: Get ready. Get set. Go. We really need to be saying: Go. Set. Ready.

We may never really feel ready before we have to go for it. We must just go for it and have faith that God will provide and pave the path for us to be ready. True faith is tough but God knows the path. All we have to do is follow Him, and He will make us ready.

We don’t have to see the entire path or the entire staircase. All we need to do is take that first step following God and He will lead the way for us to be ready.

Go… Set… Ready. Just go. Follow God’s path. He will not let us down.

Thoughts shared from Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

Jan 20

Lent 2016 Readings

lentJoin me as I participate in the 2016 readings for Lent, beginning February 10, 2016. Click this Lent readings to see the readings each day.

I got a head start on the February 10 reading and found it a fascinating study on Luke 1 about the announcement of Elizabeth’s pregnancy and Mary’s pregnancy. Mary, then, spent some time with Elizabeth as they reflected on both of them being chosen to birth two very special sons.

Click the link above, sign up for the readings, and join me as we prepare for Jesus’ resurrection.

 

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