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Appearances can be deceiving.

We recently received a text from our daughter showing a picture of a shark her hubby had caught near New Smyrna Beach. To me, it was rather impressive.

Then I thought…hmm, wait a minute. That can’t be a real shark; it must be fake. I haven’t heard of anyone catching a shark with a surf rod and line. So, I texted my thoughts back and was assured it was definitely a live shark. And apparently, it put up quite a fight, too.

Of course, it needed to be returned to the sea. So, they opted for the safer method of cutting the line rather than trying to fight the creature to remove the hook from its mouth. (Smart move!)

Then came the next picture…

…and boy did I laugh. In the pic above, it looks like it could have been a 3- or 4-foot shark. I was imagining the strength it took to land the thing. But without anything else in the photo, my perspective was obviously skewed as you can tell with a quick look at the happy fisherman holding his catch!

Without anything else to add information to what I thought I was seeing, my perspective was off. Way off.

It’s just what happens in our everyday lives.

We may blow something out of proportion (like I did with the shark’s size) or we may not pay enough attention to something important. In my personal experience, I see this most often with my initial impressions or reactions. So, I’ve learned I need time to investigate, research, contemplate, etc. And I need time to look to God’s word and talk to Him to get His perspective rather than relying on my own.

This becomes imperative because often I don’t have the whole picture. But God does. If I remain close to Him, if we’re communicating with each other, there’s a better chance my eyes and understanding will see and know what He sees and knows. And that, is a good thing indeed.

Isaiah 55:8-9 reminds us:

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Both pictures remind me about the importance of having the proper perspective. And today’s Bible verse reminds me that above all, God’s perspective is what really matters most.

Mimi

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What are you waiting for?

It seems like waiting for something is a part of life. Waiting for a promotion, waiting for a wayward child, waiting for an answer to prayer. We even have quotes galore to inspire and encourage us as we wait.

  • Good things come to those who wait.
  • You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for. (Craig Bruice)
  • Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on what we’re waiting for. (Charles Stanley)

Recently, Greg and I took a cruise with my brother and his wife, and my Dad. We planned it about 8 months before our sail date. So, we waited and waited and it seemed like we were never going to actually go on the cruise. But finally, on November 27 after months and months of anticipation, we set sail for ten days in the Caribbean. It was a wonderful trip and well-worth the wait.

The wait is over: Christmas is here.

With tomorrow being Christmas, I couldn’t help but think about the waiting so many had to endure for their promised Messiah. Years and years came and went until that one night when hope and promise were ushered in with the birth of Christ. New life in Him would soon become a reality. At last, Messiah had come.

What are you waiting for at this moment? An answer to prayer? Clear direction? A reconnection with a past relationship?

It’s not always easy to simply wait. We like quick answers and fast results. But it’s often in the waiting room where God shows up as our close Companion reminding us that He’s got all things under His control. And our time spent in that room will not be in vain because:

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:25)

The birth of Jesus was worth waiting for because a once distant God became Immanuel, God with us.

Tomorrow we once again think about the earthly entrance of the Son of God. Mankind waited and was not disappointed.

If you find yourself in a season of waiting, be encouraged. With God, all things are possible, and if waiting is involved…it will be well-worth it.

Merry Christmas

Mimi

When Your World is Topsy Turvy

Check out this gator. How do you see it? Did I accidentally place the photo upside down? Or is the stuffed gator on the ceiling? Got you wondering, don’t I? Well…he’s on the ceiling!

Ever feel like your life is upside down or topsy turvy like our gator friend? If you’re not experiencing that way at the moment, I bet you have in the past. And quite possibly you’ll feel that way again at some future point.

We can’t always avoid those moments but we can be better prepared to handle them when they arrive. Here are just a few ideas that may help during those times.

Be Prepared

Let’s look at Noah. Talk about being prepared. Hebrews 11:7 (NLT) tells us “It was by faith that Noah built a large boat to save his family from the flood. He obeyed God, who warned him about things that had never happened before.” Seems like the ultimate in being prepared. God spoke a warning to Noah, Noah responded and obeyed, and he and his family were saved.

Be on Guard

Recognize that there is an enemy who is out to destroy you. At the end of time, he is defeated. In the meantime, however, he is a very strong adversary and is out to cause as much trouble as possible.

But we are told in 1 Peter 5:8 to “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.”

Take Shelter in God

Remember that God is always working on our behalf. We can rest in God and find peace knowing God is with us. Isaiah 41:10 encourages us. “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

No one wants trouble but none of us can escape it either. Being prepared, being on guard, and sheltering in with God will get us through.

What Bible verses have helped you anchor in during a storm?

Mimi

So very thankful.

November 19, 2018

 

With Thanksgiving upon us, I can honestly say I’m so very thankful for my wonderful Lord. His kindness to me and my family simply cannot be described in words. My heart is full not only for all He’s done in my life but for who He is.

Thankful, grateful, and truly blessed.

This wall art hangs in my kitchen where it is seen every single day. It’s a wonderful reminder to me that I am blessed…not because of anything I’ve done, not because of anything I have, but because I am in God’s family. I belong to Him. And that, my friends, is more than enough.

Some Favorite Verses

Here are just a few Bible passages about giving thanks and praise to God. Would love to read what your favorite ones are. Please comment below.

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (1 Chronicles 16:34)

 

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:1-3)

 

Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalm 100:4)

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.  Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever.  Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever. To him who alone does great wonders; His love endures forever. Who by his understanding made the heavens, His love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1-5)

 

Happy Thanksgiving

Mimi

 

You are a beautiful creation.

I had to laugh when I read the saying on the picture in today’s post. I thought, that’s the perfect way to turn a negative into a positive. And a great example of thinking outside the box.

Creativity isn’t one of my strong suits.

Thinking outside the box really isn’t one of my strong suits. My organized mind loves pre-planning, thinks in a linear fashion, and serves me well. But I do envy quick-thinking people and those who can come up with alternative methods to accomplish something.

And that makes me so very grateful to have some of those people in my life. In fact, it makes for a great match-up when someone like me can pair with a more creative mind. Much can be accomplished.

Let’s rejoice in our differences.

It’s easy to be envious of others who inherently have an ability you wish you had. But I bet there are plenty of those out there who feel the same way about you. They envy your own talents.

God has created each one of us uniquely and specifically. He has specific calls on our lives and has taken care to equip us through God-given abilities, desires, and experiences to accomplish those tasks.

That should make us appreciate the “who” God created each of us to be. It should also make us appreciate the “who” he made others. And grateful for our differences.

When we come together we are the body of Christ.

Together we become the body of Christ. We function as one. Instead of being envious of others, we are content. We all use our giftings to accomplish God’s will. This both pleases Him and draws us closer to Him and to each other.

He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Ephesians 4:16 NLT)

Today, let’s acknowledge that God knew exactly what He was doing when He fashioned us, oh so precisely to accomplish every good work He has set before us. And let’s be grateful for the beautiful body of Christ He has created and that we are a part of it.

Love to all.

Mimi

Be nice.

That’s it in a nutshell.

No really, that’s it…BE NICE.

I found this sign online and realized simple as it was, it’s not practiced nearly enough. By me, by anyone. Some would say it takes no effort to be nice. But I have a feeling many others would say the opposite.

Why is it so hard to be nice?

The only answer I can come up with is that self gets in the way. What we want, when we want it. My way or the highway mentality.

Case in point. Last week I made a quick stop at Walmart. Really, only needed 5 things. Three were in the pharmacy and two in the grocery. So easy peasy.

Our Walmart has solo check-out lines in the garden center and in the middle of the front section, all with cashiers. Then there are two areas, one near each entrance/exit with lots of self-service registers. I love using them as it’s generally very quick.

Remember…I was in a hurry.

Being in a hurry was my issue, no one else’s. I was trying to jam too many errands into a one-hour timeframe. Big mistake.

After picking up my items from two opposite sides of the store, I purposely walked past the first set of self-service registers, opting instead for the ones at the other end, closer to my car. That was my second mistake.

None were working. In fact, the entire section was closed. WHAT? There were no signs posted so other people like me walked up to the registers only to see the out of service logo on the monitor. After looking at three different cash registers, I finally realized I was out of luck.

No problem (or so I thought).

No biggie, I just walked further on to the registers in the garden center which were packed with all those people who typically check their own items in the now non-working self-service section. After waiting five minutes and realizing the lines weren’t moving, I decided to walk ALL THE WAY BACK to the other end of the store to use the other self-check area. (The ones I purposely walked past ten minutes [or so it seemed] prior!)

Along the way, as I walked by the usually very busy single cash registers, I actually found one with a very short line. I chose that and got through quickly.

But at this point I was a little…hmmm, steamed shall we say. Quite possibly there was a little of it coming out of my ears. And to top it off, the cashier never greeted me and actually never said a word until I asked, not too politely, why the self-check area was closed. She mumbled a one-word response I didn’t understand at all.

As I walked away, my first thought was that she was rather surly and I wondered why she just couldn’t have been nicer. (And no, at that moment I didn’t at all think that I should have been nicer.)

But later…

The Holy Spirit spoke to me later, not about the nasty cashier but ABOUT ME. Yes, ABOUT ME. Of course, I immediately saw my biggest mistake. I was expecting a better attitude from a stranger and yet my attitude was the pits. Instead of wondering why she couldn’t be nicer, I should have been asking why I couldn’t be nicer.

Here’s what it takes.

No, it really doesn’t take much. It just means dying to self. Ugh. Really? Yes, really. It’s both that simple and that hard.

It means thinking about others. It means putting them ahead of you. It means rising above my own wrong motives, thoughts, and attitudes and considering someone other than myself.

My prayer.

Father, when others look at me or my actions, I want them to see you and not me. I want others to be impacted by your “wonderfulness.” I don’t want to be a stumbling block to someone else, that thing that interferes with them finding you. I ask you to continue working in me so the Christ in me outshines any of my sinful, selfish ways.

And I pray for that “surly” cashier, asking you to bless her with revelation of Who you are and how much you love her.

Mimi

Praying for each other.

I got to do something this past weekend I haven’t done in a long, long time. I prayed with a stranger.

I was attending a women’s retreat with my friend who was the guest speaker. We knew no one except each other.

The praise and worship were wonderful, reminding me of sweet times I had experienced in the past. It had, in fact, been years since I had had an opportunity to get lost in worship and simply enjoy the presence of the Lord.

Prayer Time

At one session, recognizing there were people in need of prayer, the leader said she wasn’t going to do an altar call. Instead, she was asking those who wanted prayer to raise their hands. The ladies around them were then encouraged to pray for and with them.

I looked around to see if there was a hand raised nearby. Not seeing any, I kept on worshipping the Lord. But for some reason I knew God was asking me to pray for someone in the room, someone I didn’t know.

I looked again and simply chose a lady nearby, walked over, touched her shoulders to let her know I was there, and just started praying for her. Afterwards we shared a hug and I returned to my chair.

It’s so important.

I love moments like these, moments when I hear God speak and respond. Moments spent with my sisters in Christ. Moments spent praying for one another.

Back in the day, this was more the normal scenario. During or after service, we would gather near the front and pray for each other. When someone prays for you, they are actually picking up your heavy load or burden and helping you carry it.

I’m not sure why churches have stopped doing this. Most likely it’s because service times are getting shorter. There’s just not enough time to “tarry around the altar” as we used to.

The illustration says it all.

I don’t even remember where I found this picture, but it sure does show why we pray for each other, doesn’t it? We pray for each other because it’s tough to do life alone. And when we have a burden or problem or situation that weighs us down, that’s when we really need the help of the body of Christ.

We are exhorted to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). Today I got to share someone’s burden. I hope she was blessed. But one thing I know for sure: I certainly was.

Be a blessing.

My encouragement today is to look for a need, look for a burden to share. Pray for someone. Hug a friend and allow her to cry on your shoulder. Run an errand for them or provide a meal. All are very tangible ways to help carry their load.

Much love to you.

Mimi