My Quiet Time with Jesus!

The other day I was driving and I was chatting away with my mom on my speaker. I was passing by the airport and it seems when that happens, the line cuts in and out. For the next few minutes we are both saying, “Hello! Hello! Can you hear me? Can you hear me? Hello, can you hear me now?” Once the line cleared up, we started laughing because it sounded just crazy with all the hello…hello…hello!

As I was doing my devotions this afternoon while the house was quiet, I kept thinking how thankful I was that I finally figured out something that was working for me at this stage of my life in meeting with my Savior each day. Granted, there are days that it just doesn’t happen and it weighs heavily on my mind when I don’t take the time to sit down and just spend time with my Jesus. I may be the only one that happens to, but, it is what it is.

I put my faith and my trust in Christ when I was 14. That was 46 years ago! Wow! Yes, I turned 60 this year. Yes, I’m struggling with that thought! Back to my main reason for writing today….

Church was the main thing in my life the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. I was there every time the doors were open. I was in Sunday School, special teaching classes, choir, visitation, every teen activity, church camps, you get the picture. Reading and studying God’s Word was new to me. I knew it was important and I read it because I was taught that you needed to start reading your Bible. So many things I didn’t understand, but, I kept reading it anyway. I didn’t even have a Bible of my own for the first several months of my new life in Christ. We had a large Children’s Bible that I would read out of and my mom had a Bible that I would read. I did get a Bible for Christmas later that year. I still have it and I love going through and seeing all the verses that I underlined and little notes I made.

Since then, I’ve had several different Bibles and I do have one main one that I really like to study out of. I place Bibles around my house. I just love having one near at all times. I even carry one in my car.

Over these 46 years I have sat under many different preachers and teachers. I have heard many different ways of studying your Bible and ways that people have their personal quiet times each day. I know you have heard many different ways, too. Yes, I’ve even been convicted because I didn’t do it like someone else or I tried and just couldn’t do it. Such as get up at 4 a.m. and read and pray before my husband and babies woke up. I tried, but it wasn’t happening! I eventually would find my own way to spend time in prayer and Bible reading. It even has changed many times over the years.

I recently found myself struggling with getting my three chapters read each day in order to reach a certain goal. It wasn’t meaningful to me as I was just hurrying up and it was like it was a ritual or something. I felt like I was missing out.

One of my favorite preachers made a comment one time when I was with he and his wife, “If you want to know who God is, read His Word.” Sounds very practical, doesn’t it? That’s because it is practical. I found myself, reading to meet a deadline and a goal and reading books on different subjects, but, still was hungry just to sit in peace and read and let God speak to me. I want to know everything there is to know about God. When you are hurrying or just reading to be reading….you might miss out on a few things.

Several months ago, I said to myself…”Okay, Beverly, it’s time to slowly go through your Bible and just be quiet and still and let God speak to me.” I am a planner, so I stuck with my pattern of how I read the Bible, but…this time, I’m going slow and I am loving it so much! I’m not trying to meet a deadline to have my Bible read through by the end of the year and get so many verses a day read.

This is how my “quiet time” goes….

I begin with a short prayer of asking the Lord to speak to me through His Word. If there is anything that He wants me to know, to make it very clear for me to see. I want to know everything about Him. Now….if you are anything like me, your mind goes a million miles a minute and you think about so many things at the same time as reading and even praying. I have to get still and quiet and I don’t begin until my mind has calmed down. I even keep a notepad close that I jot things down that is on my mind to do. Such as, while you are reading a thought pops in your head….go to the store to get milk….just stop, write it down and move on. Again, I might be the only one that struggles with things like that.

I have an Our Daily Bread Devotional for women that I read. It is very short and to the point. I love this devotional as it always has something that I need to be reminded of. Then….

I began in Genesis and only read one chapter. With reading one chapter, I take my time…I make notes, I memorize names, place and events. I’m not worried about checking anything off. I’ll move on through each book of the Old Testament.

I then move to the Book of Psalms. I read one chapter…same thing…slowly and make many notes. When I get to the end of Psalms, I start over. I’m always going through the Book of Psalms.

Then I go to my favorite, the Book of Proverbs. Whatever day of the month it is, that is the Proverb that I read. October 6th…I read Proverbs 6. When I get to Proverbs 31, I start over. I’m always going through the book of Proverbs. It’s amazing how any things speak to you differently each month.

I then go to Matthew…..one chapter a day and I move on through Mark, Luke and John. When I finish John, I go back to Matthew. I’m always reading in the Gospels.

I then go to the Book of Acts….one chapter…..I keep on moving all the way through Revelations. When I’m through with Revelations, I will start over in Acts.

I have to tell you that I have really enjoyed it! There are days, where I can’t wait to sit down to read the next chapter in each book to catch up. I’m hungry for more.

Being hungry for the Word of God is a very good thing! Are you hungry for God’s Word?

Also, as I read, and God speaks to me, I pray as I read. I apply everything I read to myself. I’m not worried about how someone I know needs this or I hope so and so reads this today…..This is all for me! I’m not studying for a lesson to teach or to fill in a workbook for a study of some sort. It’s just me and God….

That’s what a “quiet time” is to me.

I end with focused prayer. Prayer is my personal conversation with my Savior. I don’t keep up with making sure I spend an hour or 5 minutes in prayer. I pray for however long it takes. I cover everything. Trust me!

So, I hope you have settled in to what works for you in your season of life that you are in right now. Do you need to make some adjustments? If something isn’t working, figure out a way that it will work. Make it a special time for you and your Savior…..not just checking off a box of what you read for the day. But, hey….if checking off the boxes is what works….yay! I did the box checking for a long time.

I only share this to encourage you and hopefully inspire you to make sure you have that time each day or as often as you can.

If you are struggling with any area, feel free to email me and I would love to find a way to help and encourage you. Don’t leave Him out of your daily life.

Do you find your faith wavering…..get in the Word! Fill your life with people of faith. Listen to people of faith. Sometimes, when your faith is wavering…it could be because everyone and everything around you is anti-God. Trust me, there is plenty of that and always has been. Just read…..read for you…..not to prove anything to anyone…..just read and ask for wisdom and discernment. Tell God you need to hear from Him. He loves us so much and wants to spend time with us. I know you’ve heard this before; Our Bible is His love letter to us! He has so much He wants us to know about Him. Don’t take anyone else’s word for it…..you read and study for yourself and learn all you can! Let Him speak to you!

Until next time…

Happy Birthday to Me!

 

 

I celebrated my 59th birthday in May.  It’s been a fast two months as I meant to write this post on my birthday.  Better late than never, right?

This birthday was a bit tough for me.  59 seems so…whats the word? The end of an era?  I’m not sure…I just know that I did my best to “Embrace 58” and 59….well….I’m struggling.

Since I was the only one at my pity party, I thought I better straighten myself up and learn to “Embrace 59.”  That doesn’t sound as catchy as the 58, but, I couldn’t think of anything else.  If you have a catchy phrase for 59, send it on.

Why the pity party, Beverly?

*Thanks for asking; I sort of enjoyed the 50’s.  I feel like I made it through:

*Three decades of being a young wife, older wife?  and then a mom of two cutie pies.

*Serving in every imaginable area of church life while raising my kids and trying to be the best wife I could possibly be. (I’m still working on it, by the way.)

*Survived a season of homeschooling our kiddos.  (loved that season!)

*Served as a Pastor’s wife for almost 20 years.

*Watched God bless my husband and brother as they ventured into business together.

*Dealing with the basic hurts of life and trusting that the joys of life will overcome deep, deep wounds of words and actions from people that only want to destroy.

*Almost 4 decades of walking with my Savior and learning everything I can about the Christian life.

*Loved watching both of our children marry their soulmates.

*Welcomed the birth of 5 grandchildren that are absolutely adorable!

*Figuring out the “empty nest” world….I might have it figured out, not sure.

*Seeking the Lord daily in what a now 59 year old is to do with her life for the next…. ? years.

I have been weeding out my books and donating the ones I’ve read and don’t want to keep anymore and I came across a book that I purchased a few years ago.  It’s called,  “Fabulous After 50.” (by Shirley W. Mitchell.)  I figured I better get it read real quick and so I spent a few hours and finished it.  I have to admit, I was inspired, but, I really should have read it when I bought it several years ago.  Hello!?  But, the good news is, the author wrote another one called “Sensational After 60.”  I better get that one read as soon as possible.  I only have 10 months left of being 59.

My goal is to life this last year of my 50’s to the fullest.  So far, it’s been a productive few months.  

*I’ll be sharing more about how I plan to live these next few months of my 50’s in my upcoming posts!

I hope you will follow along with me as I blog about my last year in the 50’s.  I do hope it inspires you or causes you to think about things you haven’t thought of before and most of all I do hope that somehow, someway, I can inspire you to… Love Life While Striving to Have a Heart Like His.

 

How To Love Going To Church – It Starts In The Parking Lot

Welcome back to “Beverly’s Church Tips – How To Love Going To Church.”

How did last week go?  Was it easy to reach out and speak to everyone around you?

Maybe you were the one that people reached out to first.  Sometimes, we could be going through something and we just want to walk in and sit down and wait for the service to start and then when the people around us are friendly and show that they care and are interested in you….well, it can change your whole day, can’t it?

If you missed last week’s post, you can read about it by clicking here.

It all starts in the parking lot…..

Don’t you love it when you are visiting a church and they have special parking for visitors?  Especially, when you are running a little bit late and you have no idea where to go.

We recently visited a church and it was a huge church.  As we drove down the long road to the turn in, a man was standing there waving at us and showing us where to go.  Another young man was holding a sign that said “We are glad you are here!” He also had a big smile on his face.  Now that’s a way to make someone feel welcome, isn’t it?

Here are some thoughts to think about.

*If you are walking to the building after getting out of your car and you pass the visitor parking lot and see someone that is obviously a visitor, speak to them.  If it looks like they are confused and have no idea where to go, ask if you can help them.

*Open doors for people.

*If you are running late, you are late, no since in speeding and almost running over people and acting bothered that someone may be in your way.

*Be courteous and let people out of their spots and onto the road.

*Long story short….be just as friendly in the parking lot as you are in the church building.  It’s possible that there is someone that is going to church for the first time and it is really hard for them to even get out of the car and you could be the one that puts all of their nervousness at ease.

Since I shared a personal story last week, I’ll have to share another one with you.  Trust me, I have many stories…..some good, some funny and some not so good.  This one is funny now, but at the time…it wasn’t.

My husband had to be at church much earlier than I, one Sunday morning.  He had deacon duties this particular morning.  I came in time for Sunday School and had also brought a casserole for a luncheon that was taking place later.  I was wearing a white crocheted skirt.  I had the dish, my purse and Bible and was balancing everything the best I could.  I walked up a set of steps to the door.  As I was going up the steps, my heel got caught in my skirt.  I know!!!  I felt my skirt going down and so I stooped down on the steps.  As I was going down, I caught the eye of a “gentleman” standing on the other side of the solid glass doors.  He watched me go down.  Oh, you think I’m going to say, he came to my rescue and helped me up, right?  Nope, he stood there and turned his back to me.  No worries, I managed.  I got my heel out of my crocheted skirt and OPENED the glass door while juggling the purse, Bible and casserole dish. He scurried off as I was opening the door.  I was pretty bugged as I walked down the hall, but then, I turned it around and I thanked the Lord for something.

I said…

“Lord, thank you that I know without a doubt that my husband, my son and my son-in-law would have helped anyone… man, woman or child that was going down…..oh, and I also know they would have opened the door even if they didn’t have a thing in their hand.”

I’m truly grateful for that!

See, it wasn’t funny at the time….but, I can actually laugh now.  One more thing, I didn’t ever wear that skirt again.

Have a Great Day at Church!

How To Love Going To Church

I know what you are thinking!

“Beverly, what makes you think that I need to read a “how to” about church?”

I thought the same thing.  It’s been going over in my mind about wanting to write on this subject and the only way I can get it off of my mind is to….just do it.  I do pray about what I write about and many times I feel like I’m getting a nudge to write on a particular topic.  This is one of those, so I hope you stick with me.  Each Sunday morning in your inbox, you will find a little note from me on  something that I hope will make your church going experience better.  We may even talk about something you’ve never thought of before.  I know, next question….

“Beverly, what makes you think you would have any knowledge of what my church experience should be?”

I understand why you would think that.  Here is my resume of my “church life.”

As a young girl I maybe went to church with my grandparents a couple of times.  I have no recollection of any of the teaching other than I did make my mom an ash tray out of clay for Mother’s Day and I made a really cute card for Easter with crushed egg shells on it with a picture of Jesus.  I had no idea who Jesus was; I was just told to glue the picture on the card.

A few years later while in music class in the 4th grade we were all standing around the piano and the music teacher asked everyone if they had gone to church the past Sunday.  When she got to me, I shook my head “no.”  She then said shook her head in dismay and went to the next person.  I remember feeling really embarrassed and ashamed.  But, I soon forgot about it and carried on with life.

A few years later I listened to a preacher on television and I slipped into my room and knelt by my bed and asked Jesus into my life.  I have written about my testimony a few times and if you are new to my blog, you can click here to read about how I began my walk with Christ.

My family joined a church and we were there for every service, conference and event.  Over the years we served in so many different areas of the church and loved every minute of it.  We grew in our walk with Christ and never looked back.

A few years later….I was married and my husband and I headed off to Seminary.  He had felt a call on his life to preach the gospel full time.  I had also surrendered my life to full time service as a teen. We left the only church I knew and headed out to change the world.  My eyes were opened to the ways of different churches.  We will talk about that later, but, for now and after being a member of and serving in several churches and now as we travel and visit many different churches, I’ve noticed a few things that I think would only make us stronger in our church life.  I’m sure you have more questions, so feel free to email me or leave a comment.  I always try to answer each one that I receive.  You may be struggling in an area of your church life and I would love to visit with you about it.  Some of you may have some things to share that have helped you in finding and serving in a church.  I would love to hear about that, too.

Enough of my resume….let’s get started!

The first time I attended church as a teen with my mom and two brothers, we were amazed at the friendliness of this church.  I had never had so many people tell me they were glad to see me.  Me? I was hugged, had my hand shaken and people had a genuine interest in who I was.  I had never seen so many smiles in my life!  We were attending the church during a conference they were having and a singing ensemble was leading the music.  They were young people from a Christian University.  They smiled while they sang and acted as if they really loved being there.  I never will forget the song they sang that has stuck in my head for now… 44 years.

“I found happiness, I found peace of mind, I found the joy of living perfect love sublime, I found real contentment happy living in accord, I found happiness all the time, wonderful peace of mind, since I met the Lord.”

I watched my mom at church.  To me, she was the sweetest and friendliest person I had ever seen.  She loved people and it showed.  She was one of those that knew everyone and everyone knew her.  She never ever said a bad thing about anyone when we were home.  She worked all week and then visited bus kids all day on Saturday and then we attended church Sunday morning and Sunday evening. Recently we ran into a man who was a firefighter here in town.  He recognized my mom as the lady that worked on the bus that he rode to church on.  You could tell he had fond memories of her as she loved and cared for him and his two little sisters.  Church became our life.  And….we loved it!

When you attend church, try the following:

*Smile at people.

*Look at people in the eye.

*Shake hands like you mean it.

*Before you find your spot to sit, speak to as many people as you can.  If you have to walk across the building to speak, do it.

*Don’t walk in, sit down, fold arms and stare straight ahead until the service begins.

*When you do find your spot, be aware of everyone sitting around you.  Speak to them.  Tell them you are glad they are there.  Compliment something about them.  If they don’t respond back, no worries, do your best to be kind and make them feel welcome.  If you are in a large church, you may not know who the visitor is or who has been going there a hundred years, treat everyone the same.

*Change where you sit on a regular basis.  Don’t stay in the same spot for years and wonder why you don’t know everyone at church.  Get to know people on the other side of the building, too.  Or the balcony.

*IF you are one of those that has “YOUR SPOT” and someone is sitting there when you arrive, DO NOT tell them they are in your pew or chair.  Yes, I was told more than once that I was sitting in their spot and to please move. The first time, I thought it was a joke, until I realized it wasn’t.  YES, there are rude people everywhere, even in church.  If that happens to you, you smile and say, “I’m sorry” and move on.

*Make it a habit to invite someone to your home after church for lunch or dinner or maybe just dessert.  Do you go out to eat?  Then invite them to go with you.  Ask the Lord to show you who you should ask, I have a feeling you will know right away.

*When you are sitting and someone walks up to talk to you, stand up.  This is one that I’ve had to work on.  If you are in a really friendly church, you might want to keep standing.  Yes, I know that if you can’t stand, that isn’t a problem.  Everyone understands.  If you are healthy and can, stand to talk to whoever has taken their time to come and speak to you.

*When my kids were growing up, I taught them that when someone speaks to you, you speak back and continue the conversation  I called it, bouncing the ball back.  Don’t just take the ball and leave, carry on the conversation.

*Don’t get locked in on a deep serious conversation when there are hundreds or thousands of people around you.  You may be shutting someone out that is nearby.  Keep conversations light.  If you are needing to solve the worlds problems, get together during the week or after church.

*Turn your cell phone off and put your phone away.

*Find someone that you want to get to know better or someone that you think needs encouragement and invite them to lunch that week.  You may just make a new friend.

*If being friendly is not easy for you, work on it.  Ask the Lord to help you be comfortable at being friendly.  A smile is easy to do.  Sometimes that is all people need.

*We have no idea what anyone has been through before they got to church.   You be the one that reaches out and gives that first smile.  No smile back?  Then you just found you someone that you  need to begin praying for and begin to reach out to them.

I will share this one little story with you.

A few years ago, we were in a church that my husband was the Minister of Education.  He was always busy before and after church and had to sit on the platform during the service.  I had taken my two children to their classes and went to sit down in the service.  I must have been having an off day.    I just needed a good morning or a smile.  I sat down behind a middle aged couple that were there every time the doors opened.  I reached up and patted the ladies arm and told them good morning.  This particular lady barely turned her head and did one of those half smiles and turned back around.  I took it personal.  I was feeling very lonely, tired and inadequate as a pastor’s wife.  Needless to say, the tears welled up in my eyes and I had to leave.  I went to the ladies room, got myself together and went back in and sat on the other side of the building. I couldn’t wait for that service to get over and get home.  Do you think that is the only time that has happened?  Sadly, no.  People are people everywhere you go.  I just don’t want to be one of those kind of people.  I’ll say it again, we do not know what someone is going through.  We can’t risk being rude to anyone at anytime or anyplace.

Just be friendly…….smile…….care……..reach out!

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Is Your Faith Strong?

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Did you set a goal or some goals for yourself for 2017?  I did!  I’m a goal setter anyway and the first of the year makes it that much more exciting. I love the start of a new month and even the first of the week is an energizer for me.  I keep a journal with all kinds of lists going all through the year.

I wanted to share one thing with you today that is on my list of goals and that is, to be more grounded in my Faith.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1

I felt it important to share that with you in hopes that you will make that one of your goals as well.

To be honest with you, there are some crazy teachings going on out there in the world and yes, even in churches across our country.  Social media brings it all out even more.  Articles are passed around by people that we don’t have any idea who they are, but yet, we will read and actually believe what they are writing even when it contradicts the Word of God.

Recently, a very popular author shared her thoughts on some issues that totally didn’t line up to God’s Word.  Granted there are many people that do this, but what I was most amazed at were the comments I heard and read by people that you would think would know better.  The sad thing is they don’t, because they don’t know their Bible.  Since then, I do not read comments anymore on articles on controversial subjects or in the political world. I get too bogged down and waste my time reading people’s comments that don’t have a clue or want to have a clue.  I just move on. Don’t let the negativity and the nay-sayers waver your faith.  Surround yourself with wise people who strive to glorify God in their daily lives.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

I don’t want to be like a leaf floating in the wind; whichever way the wind blows, I’ll go.  No, I want roots planted deep and I want to stand tall and strong in my faith and my beliefs!   I don’t want to be swept away by the latest craze of style of belief or whatever.  The only way I can prevent that is by staying in God’s Word for myself.  That is how my faith grows.  Also, reading and listening after people that I know their teaching lines up with the Word of God.  You may say, how do you know that they line up with the Word of God.  Because, I know His Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  John 1:1

All that to say, I want to be strong in my faith.  I don’t want to waver  when I hear someone belittle or poke fun at who God is.  I will stand firm on my beliefs because my faith is strong.  Having a strong faith doesn’t come by accident.  You grow your faith by spending time with Him.  If you read after, study and listen to people who are confused and struggle in their walk, then you will too.  If you read after, study and listen to people who don’t even believe in God, you won’t either.

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What will it take for you to be stronger in your faith?  Whatever your answer is……START TODAY.

Begin by reading your Bible. (If you don’t have a Bible, let me know, I will get you one) Just start.  Begin in the Gospel of Luke to get started and find out who Jesus is.   Each day I do my best to read a Proverb, a Psalm, a chapter in one of the 4 gospels and then I read a chapter in  the Old and New Testament.  There are so many ways you can get started in reading daily.   If you need ideas, let me know.

Get in a Bible study on a subject you need to grow stronger in.  You don’t have to do it in a group if you aren’t able; study on your own.  Ask God to give you wisdom and discernment as you study, read and grow.  Hopefully, you have a good church to go to and are being fed strong serious Godly teaching.  If not, find one!

Have a great 2017 and may this be the year our Faith will become stronger than ever.

If you are thinking, “what in the world is she talking about?”  Click here to read more about how you can know the One who changed my life!

Happy Goal Setting!

Happy New Year!

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.” I Corinthians 16:13

Speaking Up For Christ!

I wrote a short devotional for Denise Hughes who has an amazing writing ministry called, Deeper Waters.  She is doing a study in the book of Ephesians now and she asked me to write one on today’s study.   Be sure to check out her ministry at www.Deeperwaters.us!

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Day 29 ~ Ephesians 6:16-20 ~ Freedom from Fear and Insecurity
Welcome to DAY 29 of our online Bible study on Ephesians!

DAY 29
Read: Ephesians 6:16-20
Growing up in a single-parent home and a having a father that didn’t have much to do with me, left me extremely shy and very unsure of myself. I never had the confidence to speak up about things that were important to me. In school it was a nightmare when I was called upon and had to answer a question. The teasing of my quiet and soft voice was hard to bare. And the redness that appeared on my face was even more reason for teasing.
I became a Christian at the age of 14 and slowly became more sure of myself as I learned more and more of how much God loved me and I became more secure of His love for me.
Shortly after I married, my husband and I went in to full-time ministry after he graduated seminary. I was then finding myself in situations that were way out of my comfort zone. Things like praying out loud in prayer meetings with other women, leading a study for teen girls, introducing speakers at events, and going out on visitation to knock on doors and share the gospel with whomever was willing to listen.
I would beg God to give me boldness and wisdom to do and say just the right thing. I so wanted to be a bold witness for Christ.
Whether it is face to face, speaking before a crowd, logging on to social media, or silently by our lifestyle, we have a message to share and we can share it boldly.
Just as Paul was in chains desiring to speak boldly for Christ, you may be in the chains of low self-esteem like I was, wanting so desperately to speak up and share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Paul even prayed for such boldness:
“Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:19)
Have you been caught in the chains of insecurity yet you broke free to speak boldly for Christ?
If so, I would love to hear how you are using your voice and your life to be a bold witness for Jesus Christ!
The more we share the message of Christ, the easier it will become.

~ Diving Deeper ~
Have the shackles of insecurity kept your from sharing your faith?

Share in the comments!

Beverly Dillow
The desire of Beverly’s heart is to have a heart like His. She invites readers to live life to the fullest from the hardest of times to the best of times.  We were created for such a time as this. Join her in the everyday tasks of life at www.BeverlyDillow.com as she shares what she’s learned in 50+ years and is still learning each day.

There it is…..I hope it somehow encourages you to speak up for Christ!

Blessings on your day!

He Knows My Heart!

 

He Loves Me

Do you ever find yourself in a place where you feel like you don’t fit in anywhere?

Do you get tired of worrying about having it all together?  You spend most of your time focusing on things such as: dressing in the latest styles, having the latest hair cut and color, nails the perfect length, eating the correct food, drinking the right drink, driving the latest car, having a home decorated in the latest trend, having your children looking and acting just right, carrying the correct Bible version, listening to the music that is most accepted, having the right tone of voice when you speak, having the image of the perfect marriage, family relationships…..the list goes on and on and on. (I’m sure you can insert something that you find yourself constantly concerned with.)

There is nothing wrong with being the best we can be, but when we make it a daily ritual to come across as we have it all together and looking just perfect, but our hearts are cold, we might be on a path to a huge disappointment in ourselves and others, because, no one can meet all the expectations that are out there for us.  We are usually the ones that put that pressure on ourselves.

It is important to know who we are in Christ as women of God and from there, we can work on those things that we feel need improving in order to bring honor and glory to Christ.  Not glory to us…but HIM!  When we get our eyes off of Christ and try to be all the millions of things that we think will make us look better and sound better in order to be accepted….we are on the wrong path.

Aren’t you thankful that in all the striving to please and be, that God knows our heart and loves us despite all the issues we have.

Know who you are and be the best YOU possible!  There is only one of you, might as well make it a beautiful and confident you; one who brings honor to her Savior in every area of her life.  Not just some areas of her life, but all!

When others look at our lives, we want them to see a glimpse of who our Heavenly Father is.

Walking with God and having a pure heart is key….then all of those things that we are concerned with will fall into place in the correct order.

Let what is in your heart, lead your outward appearance.

And…even when we mess things up royally, God still loves us!  Whew!  Are you as thankful for that like I am?

“…for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 16:7

 

True Love!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!  

If you want to know what true love is, this is your answer!  Needing a heart check up?  This will be a great guide!

“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;  does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” I Corinthians 13:4-8a NKJV

*I like how the New International Version words this verse:

” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” I Corinthians 13:4-8a NIV

What a beautiful day to begin working on those issues that are causing problems in your heart.  Today is a new day…..a fresh start!

 

 

#5 – Don’t Make Me Angry!

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“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.” Psalm 145:8

I grew up around an Uncle that was known for his quick temper.  He could be happy and jolly and if one word or action was done that he didn’t like, he snapped.  He would go into a fit of anger.  He would slam things around and say mean things.

I was extremely shy growing up and it seemed about the time I would feel comfortable around my Uncle and be myself, I would make him mad by not talking loud enough, not talking enough, ask for something that he thought I didn’t need or just being in his way.  This didn’t help me in the shyness department.  Needless to say, it made me shut down even more.  I was fearful to be myself and talk in front of him as well as others.

I don’t like being around angry people.  I knew a Pastor who was the same way.  You never knew when he would like or wouldn’t like something that was said or done and he would be very cold and mean spirited at the drop of a hat.  Whenever I was around him, I would be so fearful of talking and being myself.

Do you know anyone like that?  Do you find yourself being that way towards others?

In thinking about being slow to anger, I’ve thought about myself.  I have been guilty of getting angry and reacting immediately instead of thinking about the situation and conducting myself as Christ would.

Do you have something that sets you off and are quick to be angry?

One of my “issues” is rude drivers.  We live in an area that is going through an oil boom.  The traffic is crazy!  I’m amazed at how people drive.  The one thing that can cause my blood pressure to jump up is people going through a yield sign and never looking to see if someone is coming.  They just drive through and look straight ahead causing others that are merging in to miss their turn or slam on breaks while they do their thing.  Yes, this gets on my nerves and I have had to give myself a huge talking to.  It isn’t worth getting upset; just be calm and let them go on.  No, don’t try to speed up and jump in front of them and go really slow (who me?)  Don’t wave at them like they are idiots as you pass them up.  Don’t slap your head so they can see that we are bugged by their rudeness. (where did I get those examples?)  I now think positive and tell myself getting angry isn’t worth it.

One other thing that causes the wrong kind of anger for me is people that gossip and murmur… especially, in the church.  After serving in full-time ministry and then serving in a women’s ministry for several years, I’ve heard and seen a lot.  I’ve seen people destroyed by gossip.  I’ve seen people hurt by hateful words.  I’ve actually seen ministries hurt because of someones jealousy and felt the need to try to destroy.

If you get in a situation where you feel anger, be sure that your heart is right before you say or do anything.  Spend some time in prayer over the situation before you make a decision of what to do about that thing that has made you so angry.

Yes, there are many things to be angry about, but what matters is how you take care of it.

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, Slow to anger and great in mercy.” Psalm 145:8

I want a heart like His.

I want to be slow to anger!

*click here to see the main page with links to the rest of the series on Having a Heart Like His!

 

#4 – Is Your Mercy Showing?

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In continuing along with our 31 Days of Having a Heart Like His, we will now talk about Mercy!

What do you think of when you hear the word, mercy?

I think of the old western movies where someone is about to be shot point blank and the person on the ground is yelling, “please, have mercy on me!”  In the old westerns the end result could go either way, depending if it were the good guy with the gun or the bad guy.  My eyes were usually closed at this point waiting to see if the gun went off or not.

I hope you have followed along this journey with me of making over our hearts to be more like our Savior’s heart!  In case you are new to this series, here is a list of what we have talked about so far: (click on each one to go to that post)

A Changed Heart

A Loving Heart

A Compassionate Heart

“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” I Chronicles 16:34

When you read God’s Word, you will find many scriptures to show God’s amazing Mercy!  Have you seen how many references there are to God’s mercy?  I hope you will take the time to check it out.  You can go to www.BibleGateway.com and type in the word, mercy and all the scriptures will pop up for you to read and then you can mark your Bible of those that speak to you in a special way!

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are troubled.” Psalm 6:2

Here is the dictionary definition of the word, mercy:

Mercy:  Kind or forgiving treatment of someone who would be treated harshly.

Kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation.

If you have come to the point in your life, where you realized that you needed a Savior and you asked Him to forgive you of your sin; He then, in all of His mercy forgave you regardless of where you’ve been, what you’ve done, the things you’ve said or thought.  He had mercy on you and me and saved us for a literal hell.  We will live eternally with Him when we close our eyes for the final time.  Not only that, as we go through this sometimes crazy and scary life, He is with us every step of the way.  How thankful I am that He had mercy on me and has walked through some very troubling times with me. He has given me the strength to hold my head up and continue on to live a changed life!  I know you feel the same way in your life, too!

“not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us….” Titus 3:5

So, how are we doing in having a heart of mercy, such as His?

Do you look on other’s and think:

They don’t deserve for me to even speak to them!

That person deserves to be homeless, look how lazy they are!

They hurt me for the last time!  I will never give them the time of day!

I’ll teach you a lesson, never will I forgive you!

That’s it!  I’m writing down everything you’ve done to me and then I will use it against you the first chance I get!

Even if you ask for forgiveness, you won’t get it from me.  You don’t deserve forgiveness!

They made their choice, they deserve to live like that!

*can you add some things to the list?

Wow!  Those are harsh, aren’t they?  Truth is, we may actually think those things.  We may not say them, but we think it!  Ouch!

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you.” Psalm 86:5

Who is it today, that you may need to have mercy on?  You may need to speak their name out loud or write it down in your prayer journal.

Ask God to give you a heart of mercy!

There may be another action you need to take in order to prepare your heart for this assignment of having a heart like His!

For me, I will be deleting a file folder of some emails that I received from someone that was wanting to hurt me with their words.  They did hurt.  They broke my heart.  They made me mad at first and then I was hurt.  So their job was successful!  I have saved those emails thinking I would use them against them someday if needed.  I also thought I may want to read them again to remind myself of who they are!  I never received an apology for those words.  But, today, they will be deleted and forgotten.  I’m thankful for a delete button!

I want a heart of mercy!  Do you?

“Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7