Three Words

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I was surfing the web and came across a page that asked what you would tell your younger self in two words. I thought that was not enough and continued my web search. I found myself thinking more and more on that subject and decided to stop. If I could send a message back in time to my younger self, it would have three words, “do not settle.”

These 3 words could have infinite possibilities, such as…

Do not settle for giving less than your best.

Do not settle for less love than you deserve.

Do not settle for a life without Christ.

Do not settle for public acceptance as your self worth.

Do not settle for the easy road.

Do not settle for a life without peace.

Do not settle for daydreams. Make the dream your reality.

Do not settle for imitation anything. Get and have real love, real friendships, and a real life.

Do not settle for name brand. Be your own brand.

In many ways, I did not settle. In others, I wondered my potential service to God had I not chosen to settle. Thankfully, I am here to continue in my quest to not settle for less than giving God my best. I pray that you not settle for less, as well. Have a “marvalous” Monday.

 

 

 

Consider The Source

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I am sure that you have heard the phrase, “consider the source.” Often times, we take that to mean that the source of whatever information is unreliable. It reminded me of the scripture below.

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Matthew 15:18-19, NIV

I ask that we explore this concept further. Why is the source of false information unreliable, for example when it is one person saying something negative about another? What experiences in that person’s life lead them to be an unreliable source? Were they hurt, lied to, or have they misunderstood how or not have had role models to demonstrate authentic healthy relationship with others.

No one except the Lord, our God, is perfect. We all fall short of His glory. I ask of you and myself to pray for those who suffer hurt, forgiveness, jealousy, abandonment, etc., who can only lash out at others or judge others harshly. It is from their pain that they inflict pain on others. Also, pray for ourselves and others who have been harmed from less than legitimate sources of information. May we recognize the truth and know that we are loved and valuable. May we always remember that darkness cannot hide the light. Rather light always shines down on the truth. God bless you all.

God’s Grace

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Last Sunday morning when I awoke from my slumber, I lingered a few minutes longer to just thank God for His grace and mercy. I thought about how I am growing in my walk with the Lord. I love that I am increasing able to see His work in my life. I am getting better at recognizing situations where I have no control and need His help. I combat worrying with praying, remaining faithful, and studying His word. Sometimes the prayer is simple as “Lord, take this worry from me.” I repeat it until my mind is clear and I am relaxed. God is so good that he always provides the answer or the result that I need. Notice, that I stated “need” and not want.

I sometimes laugh at myself (and imagine that He does, too) when in my limited wisdom, I attempt to do His work for Him. Many times in trying to solve problems, I mishandle situations, and make incorrect assumptions or inferences. I later discover that my actions were not in accordance with His plan. Yet, even at those times, when I recognize my fault and futility, I can still turn to Him. He, yet again, will work it out.

God will make a left turn in my life, when I think He should have made a right. Yet, He is always right, i.e. correct in His actions. I admit that sometimes I do not understand. However, that is normal for I am human and He is supreme. Never the less, I trust Him completely.

He is our loving Father, our Protector, our Guide, our Everything. I just want thank Him for His abundant and merciful grace, and not just on Sunday morning, but every day. He has blessed me with more peace in my life, more joy and love to share. His goodness is contagious. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24, NIV).

I pray that you, too, regardless of your situation can experience His peace and joy, as you follow the path that He has set for you. Enjoy the rest of your week.

The Gift

There was a beautiful woman who bought a special box. The box was white as snow and tied with a lovely red velvet ribbon. One would think inside the box was a wonderful gift. However, the woman kept the box to herself. Day after day, she would open the box and throw trash in it. After days, weeks, and years of carrying this box, the woman grew tired and weary of carrying the heavy box. One day in a park, she sat on a bench placing the box beside her. A kind man noticed her and sat beside her. He asks the woman why she looked so unhappy. She laughed, not wanting to expose her true feelings. Then, almost as quickly as her laughing ended, she cried. The man handed to her his handkerchief. Then he asks her why she is crying. Unable to hold it in any longer, she starts to tell him the truth.

She says, “I bought this box a long time ago. Inside it, I have placed trash for every time I was disappointed, sad, angry, frustrated, basically whenever I felt bad. The outside is beautiful, which is what I wanted everyone to see. Yet, inside it is garbage. I am exhausted from carrying this box with me everywhere, I go.”

The kind man, then asks if he could have the box. The women looked puzzled at his question.

The kind man repeats the question, “Can I have the box?”

She says, “Yes. What will you do with it?”

The kind man smiles and says, “I will use the trash as fertilizer for my garden.”

She starts to smile. “Sir, you are so kind to take this from me. May I ask your name?

The kind man answers, “Jesus. I can take every disappointment, frustrating, sorrowful, and angry moment and use it as fertilizer for my garden to grow beautiful flowers of joy, peace, forgiveness, and love. My garden is in your heart.”

Then he stood, placed his hand on her face and smiled.

She sat in amazement and felt encouraged, as she watched him walk away with her gift.

*****

Have you ever been this woman? I wrote this story because, at times, I am her.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28, NIV).”

There is no need to carry that box. Join me in ridding ourselves of this box  and being open for the blessings of 2015 and the rest of our lives. Happy New Year!

Marva