Attitudes and Actions {6.21.17}

Attitudes and Actions. They work together, or rather one fuels or directs the other. Think about it, what you are thinking about plays a huge part in how you act. That’s why God tells us in His word what we are to think of in Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

This morning I was attitude - Churchillpraying before I got out of bed and then again in the shower. As I was getting ready for work, God brought to mind some of the things I had been praying about and that they are all part of either an attitude or action.

There are many things going on in my life right now and I have found myself entertaining doubt. I’ve wondered, Will God do this? Will He do that? Am I really in His Will or following after my own selfish desires? Knowing that we’ve prayed and prayed and felt God’s leading, Satan is always around trying to convince us of lies. One of his names is “Father of Lies”. God reminded me this morning of the words of James 1:6 that say “But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord, he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” So…get on out of here Satan, I’m not believing in what I see, but in what I know – or more specifically, WHO I KNOW! Hebrews 11:1 tells us “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I am going to praise God for the answer I don’t even see yet and not doubt for a minute that He will provide the answers – the best answers! After all, He knows the whole picture, I only see a small portion.

actions speak louderAnother area where I realized Satan was tempting me was with fear. I’m not normally a fearful person but sometimes we can fear the unknown and not even acknowledge that it is fear. I don’t know about you but I tend to like to know the plan. I’m a planner and organizer by nature and maybe it’s a control thing that I have to struggle with to give up. Regardless, fear does NOT come from God. In face this is what God says about fear in 1 John 4:16-19 “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.”  Fear not – My God is With Me!

It all boils down to our relationship with God through Christ Jesus. If we are His Children, we can stand on his promises, recite them to ourselves over and over again. He is true to His Word. God can be trusted. We must have faith and not doubt. We must be courageous and not fear. WITH GOD, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

BibleSo, if you, like me, have ever entertained doubt or fear – read God’s Word, hide it in your heart (Psalm 119:11) and then stand firm in the armor He provides (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Let’s make sure our attitudes and actions work together for good, for God, for His Glory and His Kingdom! Let’s walk forth in confident joy!

Grumpy – Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs {10.3.16}

I’m learning lessons from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. I think we can all relate to Grumpy. After all, we know what Grumpy looks and sounds like. None of us enjoy being around grumpy people and guess what – they don’t want to be around us when we are grumpy either. Just out of curiosity I looked “grumpy” up in the dictionary. Here are some of the definitions:  bad tempered, short tempered, crotchety, testy, touchy, irritable, surly, disagreeable, snappish, cranky, ornery. grumpyWOW – I don’t want to be any of those things. They don’t sound like anyone I want to know and they certainly don’t sound like anyone I want to be. However, sometimes I just feel like I want to be grumpy. That doesn’t make sense I know but it’s true. Have you ever found yourself kind of feeling like you want to be grumpy? I can sometimes feel myself getting kind of grumpy inside and I don’t even know why. Have you been there? Are you there now? One of my temptations to grumpiness is when I look out the back of our house. We have lived here for about 5 years and had a beautiful field behind us. It was especially nice to look at when planted in winter wheat and the wind was blowing it. Oh, and one of the best things about this field is that we have enjoyed unobstructed sunset views. They are truly incredible. Well, recently the field was sold and now is in the hands of a developer. They have been moving dirt, hauling gravel, and beginning a new housing addition. Needless to say it has been a dirty, dusty mess! We can’t sit out on the back patio and now that the weather is cooler and we would love to open our windows, we can’t because that would only invite the dirt inside (and I don’t enjoy dusting)! In the scheme of things, that is a petty, small annoyance and not a big deal but I can make it a big deal easily if I allow myself.

Romans 12:18 “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

There can be many reasons behind why we are grumpy. We might be hurting emotionally, we might be angry, in pain, frustrated, fearful, feeling unloved, you name it. Sometimes I think grumpy may be a defense mechanism so that people don’t get too close. However, just like with Grumpy and Snow White, eventually people usually respond to kindness. Grumpy did not want anything to do with Snow White at first. He gave a lot of negative talk, didn’t he? He knew that things would change in ways he didn’t think he wanted. Snow White continued to be kind and loving toward him though and eventually his cold and stony (grumpy) attitude changed.grumpy-and-snow-white

Snow White had the attitude of Christ Jesus whose love for us does not depend upon what we do or say. He loves us so much He died for our sins, grumpy attitudes and all. Salvation is not by works (what we do or how we act), it is by grace. Then, after we receive His glorious grace, we do good works as a result of the love we have received from Him. It’s God in us that allows us to overcome those “grumpy” times and attitudes and instead live a life full of love and joy. In looking at Grumpy and Snow White, I’ve decided I want to be more like Snow White and err on the side of kindness. How about you?

Romans 15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Lessons I learned from Grumpy: I control my own attitude. No one wants to be around me if/when I am grumpy and grumbling. Grumpy people need to be shown kindness. Our perspective is often blurred. I need to seek God and ask Him to help me see others through His eyes. People don’t always deserve grace – neither did I.  I need to give it anyway. Grumpy can turn to Happy with love and kindness.

So…is there a “Grumpy” in your life? How will you react to this person? Will you extend kindness or be grumpy yourself? I would love to hear your stories. Just leave a comment.

On The Table {2.15.16}

Do you ever find yourself “down in the dumps” so to speak? It can certainly be depressing to listen to the news or read the newspaper, can’t it? Often we can get a negative attitude just by listening to the talk around us, whether it’s at work, school, the grocery line or in our own homes. The old saying that “one bad apple spoils the bunch” can be true – IF we let it. I guess that’s why God tell us in His Word what to think about (Philippians 4:8), what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely admirable, excellent or praiseworthy. Sometimes just a kind word or smile can turn things around (especially our own attitudes). Have you ever seen positive results from a simple act of kindness, a kind word or a smile? If so, what happened?