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Good intentions?

I had to laugh when I saw this. D.N.R. It’s kind of obvious what it stands for, especially with where it’s located. The hope is that there will be no doubt about this man’s intentions when his life is on the line.

But as I looked again, it also occurred to me What if the DNR image is actually this person’s initials rather than a directive? What if his name is David Nicholas Rothchild? That changes everything.

Do good intentions outweigh mistakes?

Sometimes we are so clear in our thinking that we believe our expressions of those thoughts are just as clear. It’s happened to me.

Maybe I don’t finish a sentence in a text. Or maybe my to-do list for the hubster is missing an item. Though my intentions in that text were clear to me, if I wasn’t clear in the message, the intention is lost. Same with the to-do list. My head may have been dictating everything that needed to be done but if it doesn’t make it to the list, whose fault is it that it doesn’t get done?

I often think my intentions should outweigh any mistake I make on that to-do list or with missing info in the text. After all, I know what I meant.

And though in those two cases my intentions may have been good, it isn’t always that way, is it? Sometimes we fool ourselves into believing what we are doing is with a pure heart when sometimes it’s not. Think of the person at a prayer meeting giving a prayer “request” that is actually mostly gossip. Not very pure intention there.

Or the person who convinces themselves that their need is more important than someone else’s so they resort to trickery to achieve their goal. Today I kind of did that. All right, I actually did that. I was in a hurry to get to a doctor’s appointment but decided to make a quick stop at Hobby Lobby first.

I failed the test.

As I walked in, I noticed the long line at the only cash register in action. It didn’t bother me too much because I still had to go find the perfect card to send someone. My hope was that there would be more cashiers working when I finally made my way to the front.

Turns out, there was still only one cashier. And though the line was much shorter, I noticed a woman nearby making her way to that cashier with a full cart. Compared to my one greeting card and the fact that I needed to get to my appointment, I decided I could just walk a little faster and it wouldn’t look like I was cutting in line. Especially, if I looked elsewhere, pretending I didn’t see her.

I actually did walk faster than her and by the time I got in line, I noticed she had found something else to look at and potentially purchase. Whew. I dodged that one…or did I?

Unfortunately, the intent of my heart was still wrong, still selfish, still ungodly. How much better it would have been if I allowed her to make her way to the front before me. It wouldn’t have mattered if she meandered off to purchase something else; my conscience would have been clear.

Such a little thing, seemingly insignificant. But boy oh boy did I catch a view of my heart. And I didn’t like what I saw. We are reminded that:

People may be right in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their heart. (Proverbs 21:2)

Ouch. Today, it wasn’t only God examining my heart; it was myself as well. And I failed the test.

(NOTE: the irony of my Hobby Lobby visit was that once I got to the doctor’s office, they were running late and I waited 75 minutes before being brought back to the exam room!!!)

Let’s Pray

Father, it’s scary that you know our heart. We are so good at deceiving ourselves that when confronted with our less-than-good intentions it sometimes surprises us. Yet most times we know we failed. And with that knowledge comes the hurts in also knowing we’ve disappointed you. Holy Spirit, help us to respond quicker to You when you point out these things. Help us to be fast to repent. Remind us that as we walk out our salvation, the ultimate goal is to become more like you.

Mimi

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Small irritations can lead to big issues.

I’m a walker. It’s my preferred form of exercise. And I try to do it each day for 30-40 minutes. My pace is about 3 mph so I’m not really pushing myself but I sort of enjoy it and know it’s good for me. Therefore, I do it.

But of my two pair of walking shoes, one of them really gives me issues. In the form of teeny, tiny pebbles. I have no idea where they come from. Perhaps my insoles are breaking down and as pieces rub off, they eventually rise to the surface where I feel them.

Though I try to keep walking when I become aware of them, ignoring the discomfort and annoyance, most days I end up sitting on a curb, removing my shoe, and dumping the contents. Of course, as I’m walking it feels like a boulder is in my shoe. Yet it always, always turns out to be a barely seeable piece of sand or other debris.

It’s a BIG problem.

So, why can’t I simply ignore it and keep walking? Why can’t I put up with the annoyance and continue on my way? Because small as it is, it’s still a problem. And to the sole of my foot it seems to be a BIG problem.

I’ve been dealing with this for over a year. And it wasn’t until the other day that the spiritual application finally hit me. (Do I hear a big duh here that it’s taken so long?)

Simply put, little annoyances that aren’t addressed do not always go away. Better to take care of them before they grow into big problems with big repercussions.

The Bible has much to say.

The Bible is very clear about the effect of little things, both positive and negative. James 3:3-4:

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. So here we see that something as small as a bit in a horse’s mouth or a huge ship’s small rudder can easily change the direction of each. And that can be very positive.

But the opposite is also true. James 3:5-6 shows some of the dire consequences that can occur because of small things:

A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it! It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.

So, what’s the point?

The point is that the ability of something small to accomplish something great is not to be missed. And it works both in a positive way and a negative way.

Back to the pebble in my shoe. Teeny pebble=big annoyance. Enough so that I have to stop every time and empty out the shoe. Teeny pebble=big life lesson and a reminder from God (as outlined above).

For me the point is that it is often easier to notice and take action on the big things that happen in our lives. But we should never lose sight of the little things. They can be every bit as important. The Holy Spirit can speak to you in a dream to pray for someone but that same Holy Spirit may simply nudge you to do an act of kindness for a neighbor.

I usually take note of the big things happening but can fail to notice the every day “little” things going on around me. I want to change that. I want to be vigilant. Sometimes those little things will be warning me about big dangers or changes ahead. Sometimes they are whispers of reassurance. And I need them all.

How about you?

Have any of you had to learn this same lesson about taking note of the little things? If so, please share. I’ve love to know more.

Mimi

And then it is winter.

This recently came across my path. I take no credit for it and wish I knew who to give credit to. An internet search came up empty for me.

It is something I want my kids to know. Something I want those younger than me to know. Something I want to share with others.

For the past many years, I’ve been reminded of how quickly time passes and how quickly things can change.

My family and friends who are younger, this is pretty close to how I feel. I look in the mirror and think “Who is that older person?” And I nearly always seem surprised to realize it’s me. So please read and share.

And then it is winter…

You know time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years. It seems like yesterday that I was young, just married, and embarking on my new life with my mate. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all those years went.

I know that I lived them all. I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams. But, here it is… the winter of my life, and it catches me by surprise… How did I get here so fast? Where did the years go and where did my youth go? I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those “old people” were years away from me and that winter was so far off that I could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But, here it is…my friends are retired and getting grey… they move slower and I see an older person in myself now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me… but, I see the great change… Not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant…but, like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day! And taking a nap is not a treat anymore… it’s mandatory! Cause if I don’t on my own free will… I just fall asleep where I sit!And so… now I enter this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did!  But, at least I know, that though the winter has come, and I’m not sure how long it will last … this I know, that when it’s over on this earth … it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done… things I should have done, but indeed, there are also many things I’m happy to have done.  It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not in your winter yet … let me remind you, that it will be here faster than you think.  So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, please do it quickly! Don’t put things off too long! Life goes by quickly. So, do what you can TODAY, as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not!

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life … so, LIVE FOR TODAY and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember… and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past!

Mimi

A little fun to start off your week along with food for thought.

It’s been very busy lately around here so no time to put pen to paper. Instead, I share with you a few collages. First up is one containing some funny things I’ve been saving for awhile. And the second contains two images that are great reminders for us as we walk with God.

 

Hope your week is wonder-filled. That you are able to see God at work. And that gratefulness will permeate your soul.

Much love,

Mimi

A piece of pie teaches us to be content.

We’re coming up on the time of year when pies take center stage on the dessert table. Fruit, custard, cream…each one has their own special appeal.

But imagine if you will that you’re out with friends, perhaps at a Village Inn or a diner, with the sole purpose of enjoying a slice of pie. You eagerly glance through the selections, settling on the one that makes your mouth water. And with great anticipation you place your order and wait for it to be served.

Soon, a piece of lusciousness is set before you. And in that moment, you are completely satisfied. It looks wonderful and the size is just right. It’s just perfect. Until…another slice of that flavor is set before your friend and it’s bigger than yours. You immediately think “Unfair, unfair. Why couldn’t I have gotten the bigger slice?”

A few seconds ago, you were totally happy with what you received yet one look at someone else’s pie, made yours seem inferior. Satisfaction has been replaced with jealousy and disappointment.

Seems petty, doesn’t it? Yet if we’re not careful, we may experience this same attitude in other areas of our lives. A hubster gives his wife a sweet gift, something she wanted or needed, and she’s ecstatic. But upon learning a friend’s hubby gave his wife something more impressive or more expensive, she can no longer enjoy her own gift. She keeps thinking of what her friend received, compares the gifts, and decides hers is inferior.

Human Nature vs. God’s Nature

Yes, the above examples are indeed human nature, but those who are in Christ should no longer be ruled by human nature; they have God’s nature now. And attitudes like I described can be dangerous.

God wants us to be grateful and content. Check out these Bible verses.

  • Philippians 4:11 reminds us that Paul had learned to be content no matter the circumstances.
  • 1 Timothy 6:6 tells us that godliness with contentment is great gain.
  • In Psalm 34:10b we learn those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
  • And Job 36:11 states that those who obey and serve God will spend their days in prosperity and contentment.

Seem impossible?

Not really. As God’s kids, we have his Spirit living in us. Just look at what Galatians 2:20 says. “My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So, I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Mimi’s note: that’s amazing!)

And with Him living in us, we should be exhibiting more and more of His presence because “…the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things?” (Galatians 5:22-23)

I’ve been a believer since I was 14. That’s a lot of years. And I’m still learning this. I can struggle from time to time comparing my life to others. But I certainly don’t want to be like that. Instead, I want to totally embrace all that God has for me and be completely satisfied. Completely content. And completely grateful.

Perhaps you’ll join me this week in praying this simple, but life-changing prayer, found in Psalm 139:23-24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”

Mimi

New Beginnings: 6 important things to remember.

The opening sentence in any story is often the most important sentence of all. It sets up the story and gives the reader an expectation of what is to come. It is so important, that authors may spend untold amounts of time crafting that one sentence. For if they don’t capture the reader’s attention at the very beginning, they may not stick around to read the rest of the story.

Thank goodness this doesn’t hold true in life.

Thank you, God, that our beginning, good or bad, does not have to dictate our outcome. Our story in fact will be rewritten many times. Our Author is also our Finisher. He is the Director and while He calls the shots, it’s up to us to follow His ways.

But great news. When we don’t follow His commands or directions, we can rest assured that once we return to Him, acknowledging His authority in our lives, He gives us a do-over…He will in fact rewrite our story to allow us to return to the life plot He had in place for each of us before the beginning of time.

Important to Remember

  1. Your first day in Christ means you have a brand-new life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
  2. Each day is a fresh opportunity to follow God. “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” (Psalm 143:8)
  3. God’s mercies are new each day. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
  4. God is all about doing something new in you. “For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
  5. Repentance brings about restoration and forgiveness. “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)
  6. God has a good plan in place for your life. “The Lord will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.” (Psalm 138:8a)

These are just a few of the many Scriptures that show us God’s amazing love. They remind us that He has a good plan for our lives, and that He is ready with forgiveness when we approach Him with repentant hearts.

God welcomes you back.

If you’re a parent of a young child, you have expectations for their future. And they are always wonderful plans with happy endings. But often, that child takes a detour, trying to find their own way. They may disregard your advice or fail to realize your hopes for them. Yet, you stand ready with open arms welcoming them back, ready to help them return to the best path. And it’s the same with our Heavenly Father.

When we find ourselves struggling with needing a do-over, when we feel we’ve disappointed God and desperately need His forgiveness, when we think there’s no hope left, that’s the time to turn to the One who has already written our life story, to the One who is also more than willing to rewrite it when necessary.

His arms are open, His heart is big, and He’s waiting for you.

Love you much,

Mimi

What’s in your cup?

 

Happy Monday to all.

From time to time I share quotes or stories I’ve discovered or that someone has sent me. Today, I want to share a little wisdom in the form of an analogy.

I would gladly credit the author but I don’t remember where I found this. Though simple, it’s quite profound. After reading it, I hope you’ll agree.

Note: While most of you will easily be able to read this short analogy in the graphic, I’m going to print the text so a friend, who is blind due to a retinal disease, and can read what the graphic contains.

The Analogy

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere.

Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in the cup, you would have spilled tea.

The point is, whatever is inside the cup, is what will spill out.

Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which WILL happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it until you get rattled.

So, we have to ask ourselves… “What’s in my cup?”

When life gets tough, what spills out? Joy, gratefulness, peace, and humility?

Or does anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions come out?

You choose! Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others.

Sounds a lot like the fruit of the Spirit to me.

Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that this “fruit” is the evidence of the Spirit of Christ living in you. It finishes with this admonition: “There is no law against such things.”

Of course, there isn’t. Because exhibiting this fruit shows others your life is in Christ and He lives in and through you.

Beloved, the encouragement today is that God’s fruit is evident in our lives. And if it isn’t? Then we need to draw close to Him and repent of things that are standing in the way. The world needs Jesus. And they are watching…you! His fruit in our lives is on display and may be just the thing that testifies of God’s love for someone else.

Mimi