Category Archives: Monday Musings

THIS WEEK – DECISION

Decision– To settle a question, dispute by finding in favor of one side; bring to a settlement ,resolve; influence, pronounce judgment.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Decisions, decisions – they come along every day. Many times, they keep us up at night or cause much anxiety and stress. Decisions flood our lives with complications, but no one can avoid them. When we wake in the morning we must decide what we are going to wear and where we will start our day. Each day brings with it a multitude of decisions. It is not if we will have decisions to make, but how we will deal with them. I will share a few thoughts on decision making.

There should be some automatic decisions in your life each day. We will get up in the morning and do the work that God has given us for the day. We will care for our spouses and children. We will be honest and productive today. If we fail at any one of those automatic decisions, we fail at life and fall into much trouble.

There needs to be some time given to just what should your automatic decisions be. Everyone must decide and make that choice a lasting one. These auto decisions become the guiding force of our lives. Until we prioritize such things, we are always in grave danger of failing ourselves and those that God has sent our way. Settle your automatic decisions today with the help of scripture and prayer.

Many decisions are made because of immediate needs. We should always be ready to adapt to the urgency of the day. All of us have lived in this Covid-19 pandemic for the past year, and it has required decisions that we never anticipated. The lesson we should learn is that decision making is not static but changes with events and times. The important thing is to know how to decide.

We decide based on our core values. What is important to us? Who is important to us and why? Examine these questions and you will have a basis to face every decision that will ever come your way. If you neglect the what, who and why then great trouble can result. Be prepared under all conditions to make decisions with the help of scripture, reason and prayer and God will see you through.

I like this list of scriptures for decision making provided by lisanotes.com (READ THE POST HERE) you might want to give it a try.



Quotes BannerEvery human being is born without faith. Faith comes only through the process of making decisions to change before we can be sure it’s the right move.

~~~Dr. Robert H. Schuller

Waiting hurts. Forgetting hurts. But not knowing which decision to take can sometimes be the most painful.

~~~José N. Harris

You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.

~~~~Michelle Obama

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

~~~Peter F. Drucker

This is what I found out about religion: It gives you courage to make decisions you must make in a crisis, and then the confidence to leave the result to a Higher Power. Only by trust in God can a man carrying responsibility find repose.

~~~Dwight D. Eisenhower

It is the characteristic excellence of the strong man that he can bring momentous issues to the fore and make a decision about them. The weak are always forced to decide between alternatives they have not chosen themselves.

~~~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

~~~Theodore Roosevelt

It is often said that a wrong decision taken at the right time is better than a right decision taken at the wrong time.

~~~Pearl Zhu

The straight line, a respectable optical illusion which ruins many a man.

~~~Victor Hugo

Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.

~~~Peter F. Drucker

So just ask the question. After all, what’s the worst that could happen? “No” isn’t really so bad, and “Yes” might take you places you’d never expect.

~~~Katie Couric

Decision making is easy when your values are clear.

~~~Roy Disney

Scripture BannerBe strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

~~~Deuteronomy 31:6

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

~~~Psalm 27:14

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

~~~Proverbs 3:5-6

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

~~~Philippians 4:13

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

~~~1 Chronicles 16:11

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

~~~James 1:5

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.

~~~Jeremiah 33:3

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

~~~Psalm 32:8

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

~~~James 3:17

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

~~~ Isaiah 41:10 

Prayer BannerLORD, Decisions are faced and made every day. Sometimes they are hard and other times easy. Please give us the wisdom to decide in all circumstances. We ask you to guide us in all decisions we make. Everything is easier when you are with us.

Amen

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This Week – Ego

Ego Self-esteem, self-importance; a person’s sense of this in himself or herself. That part of the mind which has a sense of individuality and is most conscious of self.

(Oxford Dictionary)



The word EGO can be scary because the proper balance of ego and humility is a true challenge. Thomas Merton said, “Everyone of us is shadowed by an illusory person: a false self. We are not very good at recognizing illusions, least of all the ones we cherish about ourselves.” Most of the time that is the way we think of our ego, that self-delusionary false self that we project to the world. Let me divide our ego into two parts.

We all need to have a positive view of ourselves if we are to look at the world in a realistic way. God created you in his own image, and that means that you are unbelievably valuable to him. People who have an exceptionally low self-esteem find it difficult to think well of others. God desires us to have a strong enough ego to be valuable and productive in the world. Our ability to love ourselves is key to our love for others. The writer Tennessee Williams believed that we see each other through our flaws. Our flaws are part of us, and we must embrace them as well. The problem is that we do not have enough positive ego to go beyond our flaws and flourish as God intended. We must value ourselves. Jesus put it best, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the part of our ego that is important to healthy living.

The second part of our ego is the dangerous one. We have all encountered egotistical, narcissistic, self-absorbed people in our lives. They make life miserable. Somehow they operate under the delusion that they are the only people in the world that really know anything. You want to know how to run your life, just ask. Egotistical people always have an answer, and their answer is the only one. Merton would refer to this type of behavior as the false self at it worst. This is the ego we are to avoid and control. Such ego leads to misunderstandings, hurt feelings and sometimes violent behavior.

The real key to understanding our ego is to embrace that we are created in the image of God. That means that we are to love ourselves. It also means that we are to conduct ourselves in a way that projects that created image. Psychologist Sigmund Freud warned that we must not give in to the primitive ego that destroys ourselves and others but must rise to the “super ego” that builds ourselves and others. Unlike Freud, I know that we do not have to do this alone. Because we are followers of Jesus, we have the companionship and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God guides on our way. This Spirit shows how to love others as we love ourselves, and Jesus is the prime example of that love.

Your ego is not your natural born enemy, but it is a force to be reckoned with on your journey. Let us understand that we are worthwhile and valuable, but everyone we meet is just as valuable. Remember the words of the writer of Proverbs.

The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.



Quotes BannerMidlife is the time to let go of an over dominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.”

― Carl Gustav Jung

Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

― Shannon L. Alder

Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”

― John Lennon

Enlightenment is ego’s ultimate disappointment.”

― Chögyam Trungpa

“If a man thinks he is not conceited, he is very conceited indeed.”

― C.S. Lewis

The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.”

― John O’Donohue

“The moment you become aware of the ego in you, it is strictly speaking no longer the ego, but just an old, conditioned mind-pattern. Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.”

― Eckhart Tolle

“Or, rather, let us be more simple and less vain.”

― Rousseau Jean-Jacques

“You never really learn much from hearing yourself speak.”

― George Clooney

Never allow your ego to diminish your ability to listen.”

― Gary Hopkins

How to get rid of ego as dictator and turn it into messenger and servant and scout, to be in your service, is the trick.”

― Joseph Campbell

One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self is more distant than any star.

―Gilbert K. Chesterton



Quotes Banner“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

~~~John 5:31

Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

~~~Colossians 4:6

So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.

~~~John 8:28

And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

~~~Mark 10:17-18

Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

~~~1 Peter 5:5

Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

~~~Proverbs 16:18

The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.

~~~Proverbs 29:23

Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.

~~~Proverbs 16:5

Prayer Banner

LORD, We fear what our egos may drive us to do. You have warned us many times of the dangers of being prideful or boastful. Help me ,Lord, to have enough self-worth to glorify you and enough humility to value others. Guide me down the path that allows me to be the person that you intended to create.

Amen

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This Week – Desire

______________________________________________________

Definition

Desire – Long for, want earnestly, (a thing , a person) Feel loss of, to miss. Express a wish for, ask for, request, a thing or a person.

(Oxford Dictionary)



More often than I would like to admit the word desire is linked to physical passion. I acknowledge that physical desire is a very real thing, but I want to examine the word beyond that aspect. During the dark days of World War II, England had a great deal of difficulty keeping men in the coal mines. It was a thankless kind of job, totally lacking in any glory. Most chose to join the various military services. They desired something that could give them more social acceptance and recognition. Something was needed to motivate these men in the work that they were doing so that they would remain in the mines.

 

Prime Minister Winston Churchill delivered a speech one day to thousands of coal miners, stressing to them the importance of their role in the war effort. He did this by painting for them a mental picture. He told them to picture the grand parade that would take place when VE Day came. First, he said, would come the sailors of the British Navy, the ones who had upheld the grand tradition of Trafalgar and the defeat of the Armada. Next in the parade, he said, would come the pilots of the Royal Air Force. They were the ones who, more than any other, had saved England from the dreaded German Luftwaffe. Next in the parade would come the Army, the ones that had stood tall at the crises of Dunkirk.

Last of all, he said, would come a long line of sweat-stained, soot-streaked men in minor’s caps. And someone, he said, would cry from the crowd, “And where were you during the critical days of the struggle?” And then from ten thousand throats would come, “We were deep in the earth with our faces to the coal.” We are told that there were tears in the eyes of many of those soot laden and weathered faced coal miners. They had been given a sense of their own self-worth by the man at the top. That story begs the question. What are our desires?

We desire self-worth. Just like the Welsh coal miners of that day, we have a deep desire to think we and our work make a difference. It is exceedingly difficult to toil each day with a feeling of worthlessness. Our desire is to be worthwhile and worthy. Such is a very natural and legitimate desire.

We desire recognition. All people have a simple desire to not be invisible to the world.  Most people do not need a recognition ribbon for all they do but do want to be seen and appreciated. There are loads of people who work in literal invisibility. They suffer from their lack of recognition. We are largely responsible for their lack, because we take so much for granted in the world. Whether they are our parents, children or the worker at the grocery, they desire and deserve our recognition.

We desire love. The desire to be loved is perhaps our greatest and most complicated desire. It is one that can drive us into some extremely dangerous ground. We live in a world that has defined love in a very carnal direction. Love is not always carnal. Love is the kind word, the helping hand and the warm smile for which we a yearn. Our society has, in many ways, forgotten about this type of love. The desire for the purity of the love of God stands at the front of the line.

Desire can be used to make us better persons. My hope is that you will channel your desire in a direction that will bring you peace and blessing.



Quotes BannerDo not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”

~~~Epicurus

Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.

~~~Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

Unsatisfied desire is in itself more desirable than any other satisfaction.

~~~C. S. Lewis

The scientist is motivated primarily by curiosity and a desire for truth.

~~~Irving Langmuir

There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart’s desire. The other is to gain it.

~~~George Bernard Shaw

The world is little, people are little, human life is little. There is only one big thing — desire.

~~~Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark

Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

~~~John Wesley

Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love.

~~~Friedrich Nietzsche

The authority of those who profess to teach is often a positive hindrance to those who desire to learn.

~~~Marcus Tullius Cicero

Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained.

~~~William Blake



Scripture BannerWhom have I in heaven but You?

And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.

~~~Psalm 73:25

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,

Favor is better than silver and gold.

~~~Proverbs 22:1

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.

~~~Hebrews 13:18

But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.

~~~Romans 7:8

But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.

~~~Matthew 12:7

It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

~~~1 Timothy 3:1

Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being,

And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.

~~~Psalm 51:6

This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

~~~James 1:19-20

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.

~~~Romans 7:18

Prayer Banner

LORD, Desire can be a tricky emotion. It is an emotion that can lead us down the wrong path. Desire is also the strongest drive we have when we seek you. Help us to separate our selfish desires from those that drive us toward you and your love. May we all learn to possess holy desires that drive us toward you and your love. Amen

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This Week – Care

Care – An object or a matter of concern; a thing to be done or seen too – a charge, protective oversight, or guardianship. 

(Oxford Dictionary)



I doubt that there is a person on earth who genuinely wants to be known as uncaring. We all seem to care about a variety of things and people that touch our lives and even some that do not. To develop an attitude of care we must look both inside and outside of ourselves. That is perhaps the greatest challenge of becoming a caring person.

Looking outward is vital because we must see life as it exists beyond our world. Bertrand Russell tells us,“One must care about a world one will not see.” The imperative of that statement is that we must look outside of our world, or we truly just do not care about anything. Our world is full of people who never look outside of themselves to even care for the people that surround them. There is a near epidemic of abuse in so many homes today that we begin to wonder if anybody really cares. We must perhaps begin the journey of care by thinking about the many hurts and needs in the world that we never see. I pray God that we will never see starvation on the street corner, but we need to realize that such destitution is a part of the world that we live in. As we begin to care about the things we do not see, we develop keener eyes to see the needs that surround us. We begin to care for our neighbors and friends, our families, and caring becomes a way of life.

Now comes the next challenge. Most of us have heard of “compassion fatigue.” It is defined as a condition characterized by emotional and physical exhaustion leading to a diminished ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. In other words, we no longer care about anything or anybody. Why? Perhaps the primary reason is that we have neglected to care for ourselves. To properly care for others, we must care for ourselves. The beginning of self-care is rest. When we do not take the time to rest, we find ourselves at a loss to do the things that we love. Rest allows us to rethink what we are doing and why we are doing it. The quieting of our minds allows us to see our value to the world and the importance of respecting ourselves as a special creation of God. Essential to self -care is a positive view of ourselves before we lift a finger to others. This allows us to look deeper at the needs that surround us. With a healthy dose of self-love and self -care we are ready to care for the world.

The caring person knows how to show love and respect. There is no love without respect. It is not enough to tell someone you care when you do not value their worth to the world and see yourself as some sort of paternal figure that wants to straighten up their disastrous lives. People do not need a human savior but a friend and companion who cares about them. As persons of care, we are led to build up the self-worth of those we care for and about. Our imperative is to make their lives more worth living, and in doing so, they too become caring people. It is contagious. When people discover that others care about them, they begin to care about the world. In some nearly mystical sense, they are led to become people of care as well.

What are human beings that you are mindful of them,

   mortals that you care for them?

~~~Psalm 8:4



Quotes BannerIf we take care of the inches, we will not have to worry about the miles.

~~~Hartley Coleridge

I care not much for a man’s religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.

~~~Abraham Lincoln

One must care about a world one will not see.

~~~Bertrand Russell

Give me a hundred men who fear nothing but sin, and desire nothing but God, and I will shake the world. I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; and such alone will overthrow the kingdom of Satan and build up the kingdom of God on earth.

~~~John Wesley

My friend…care for your psyche…know thyself, for once we know ourselves, we may learn how to care for ourselves.

~~~Socrates

Don’t be afraid to give your best to what seemingly are small jobs. Every time you conquer one it makes you that much stronger. If you do the little jobs well, the big ones will tend to take care of themselves.

~~~Dale Carnegie

If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself.

~~~D. L. Moody

Nobody is so busy that they can’t make time for the people they really care about.

~~~Leila Sales

A song and a smile from someone I cared about could be enough to distract me from all that darkness, if only for a little while.

~~~Ransom Riggs

The closest thing to being cared for is to care for someone else.

~~~Carson McCullers



Scripture BannerThat there should be no division in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.

~~~1 Corinthians 12:25

Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

~~~Corinthians-2 11:28

For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

~~~Philippians 2:20

But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.

~~~Philippians 4:10

Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you.

~~~Peter-1 5:7

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

~~~Psalm 23:1

what are human beings that you are mindful of them,

   mortals that you care for them?

~~~Psalm 8:4

And even the hairs of your head are all counted. So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.

~~~Matthew 10:30-31

The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,

~~~John 10:13-14

The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.”

~~~Luke 10:35

Prayer BannerLORD,

Teach me to care for the unloving.

      Teach me to care for the undeserving.

          Teach me to care for the unknown.

              Teach me to care for the unreachable.

Teach me that in caring for these I can learn to care for myself and have the peace that is bestowed upon a person of a caring heart. I ask that your spirit guide me as I seek these things. AMEN

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THIS WEEK – Brokenness



Brokenness – Separated forcibly into parts, in fragments, fractured, shattered, split, not intact or in working order, damage; produced by breaking, fragmentary.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Quotes BannerAnd in the end, we were all just humans, drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.

~~~Christopher Poindexter

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.

~~~Vance Havner

We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.

~~~Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

And in the end, we were all just humans.. drunk on the idea that love, only love, could heal our brokenness.”

~~~F. Scott Fitzgerald

The secret to becoming unbreakable is realizing that you are already broken. We all are.

~~~Brant Menswar

God wants us to be broken in spirit so that He can make us strong at the broken places.

~~~Billy Graham

But our brokenness is also the source of our common humanity, the basis for our shared search for comfort, meaning, and healing. Our shared vulnerability and imperfection nurtures and sustains our capacity for compassion.”

~~~Bryan Stevenson

The absence of brokenness is the biggest sponsor of rebellion against God.

~~~Kingsley Opuwari Manuel

Embracing our brokenness creates a need and a desire for mercy, and perhaps a corresponding need to show mercy.

~~~Bryan Stevenson

Divine love is incessantly restless until it turns all woundedness into health, all deformity into beauty, all embarrassment into laughter. In biblical faith, brokenness is never celebrated as an end in itself.”

~~~Belden C. Lane

We’re all broken, all walk with a limp. Here is the truth about you and me: even when in a far-off country, wasted life, stripped bare, smeared, squandered, nothing but scar tissue and shameful, self-inflicted wounds, the love of the Father finds the son and daughter.

~~~Charles Martin

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.

~~~Ernest Hemingway

Jesus didn’t say, ‘Blessed are those who care for the poor.’ He said, ‘Blessed are we where we are poor, where we are broken.’ It is there that God loves us deeply and pulls us into deeper communion with himself.

~~~Henri Nouwen

Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul, but his life.

~~~Gilbert K. Chesterton



Scripture BannerThe Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

   and saves the crushed in spirit.

~~~Psalm 34:18

And I will pour out a spirit of compassion and supplication on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that, when they look on the one whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn.

He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.

~~~Zechariah 12:10

The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

   because the Lord has anointed me;

he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,

   to bind up the broken-hearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

   and release to the prisoners;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

~~~Isaiah 61:1

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.’

~~~Revelation 21:4

The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;

   a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

~~~Psalm 51:17

‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

~~~Matthew 5:3-4

Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.

~~~1 Peter 5:7

‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’

~~~Matthew 11:28-30

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

~~~Psalm 51:7

Prayer BannerLord, Guide me by your spirit to be able to use the setbacks and defeats of my life as a way to move forward. Allow me to offer my sufferings to you so that they may become steppingstones to a stronger, greater faith. Please give me awareness of your presence and the comfort that comes with it when I suffer. I ask that you allow me to see suffering through the eyes that you did when you went to the cross.

Amen

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THIS WEEK – Service

Service – To be advantageous to a prescribed organization or person by contributing to the functions of that person or organization .

(Oxford Dictionary)

Service

Service means to take care of the needs of others. An imperative of the teachings of Jesus is to serve the world and to bring his message of salvation to all. A person who is a member of the military is said to be in the service. Every store offers customer service. Those are some of the many ways what we can use the word service, but what does it mean to be in service to the Lord?

Servants of the Lord put Jesus first. The writer of Romans says, “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.” Serving the Lord means that we learn his ways and his will. Our lives are focused on pleasing the one who gave us life. God/Jesus, after all, is not only our creator but our redeemer. Jesus came to earth to set things right for us. He came to show the way to abundant life, and we must put our service to him first that we might share in his abundance.

All who serve Jesus as Lord understand that they are to put others first. Jesus said, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” What does it mean to be a servant of all? It means that we are continually looking out for the welfare of our fellow beings. We do not see ourselves as an independent entity but part of great community of creation. That vision of ourselves will drive us to look out for the wellbeing of all.

Service to the Lord means that we want to share His message to the world. It is our greatest desire that others may know his message of blessing and freedom. As servants we are commissioned to be the “tellers” of the story. We are to share that good news with all those that we meet. I am not talking about door knocking evangelism but living in a way that others will be drawn to him. It is not what we say, but what we do that brings people to Jesus. That is an aspect of our service.

The greatest service we render to the world is the desire to make the world a better place. We live in a confused and dark world. The message of Christ is a message of abundance. The more people get to know about the salvation of Jesus, the more ready they are to improve their lot in life. Such an improvement becomes contagious to all those around them. It is our job, our calling, our mission to make the world a better place. Because we are the people of the Trinity, we can make the world a better place.

I want you to take the time this week, and ask yourself – what am I doing in service to the Lord? 



Quotes BannerEverybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.

~~~Martin Luther King Jr.

A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.

~~~Henry Ford

At the end of life we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done.

We will be judged by “I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless, and you took me in.

~~~Mother Teresa

“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

~~~Carl Gustav Jung

The best antidote I know for worry is work. The best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired. One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.

~~~Gordon B. Hinckley

So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are Your own Self-Realization is the greatest service you can render the world.

~~~Ramana Maharshi

Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family.

~~~George Bernard Shaw

Life is for service.

~~~Fred Rogers

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

~~~Albert Schweitzer



Scripture BannerAs each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:

~~~1 Peter 4:10

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

~~~1 Peter 4:9-11

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

~~~Galatians 5:13

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

~~~Mark 10:45

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

~~~Colossians 3:23-24

If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.

~~~Isaiah 58:10

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ …

~~~Matthew 25:35-40

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

~~~Mark 9:35

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

~~~Romans 12:11

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

~~~John 12:26

“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

~~~Matthew 6:24Prayer Banner

Lord, I want to be of service to you. Open for me opportunities to learn more of you. Open for me opportunities to serve the unlovely. Open for me opportunities to make the world a better place. I pray that you will guide me through direction of your Holy Spirit to find a way to serve the world and make it a better place. Let all my thoughts be directed toward serving and not being served. Amen

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THIS WEEK – Wisdom

Definition

Wisdom – The combination of experience and knowledge with the ability to apply them judiciously ; sound judgment, prudence, practical sense.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Wisdom

Everyone in the world wants to be wise, because the one who possesses wisdom rules the world. Is that true? The answer would have to be yes and no. As we gain wisdom our ability to lead others is strengthened. The way to gain wisdom is to realize what you do not know. When that attitude descends upon us, we begin to desire and seek the opinions and knowledge of others and, more importantly, we realize what we do not know. This leads us to the path of wisdom in this life. Let us look at some ways we can begin the wisdom journey.

“Avoid company where it is not profitable or necessary, and in those occasions, speak little, and last. Silence is wisdom where speaking is folly, and always safe.” Those are the words of William Penn, the namesake and founder of the state of Pennsylvania. Let us focus on the concept of speaking little and last. The world is full of people who want to be heard but lacks in those who want to listen. If you find yourself frustrated that you do not get to speak first and loudest, then you may need this wisdom lesson. Pause, listen with openness and respect to those around you, and then speak after you have digested what has been said.

Learn the value of doubt. We can safely say that the one who never doubts himself is lacking in wisdom. No one is always right or knows all. Doubt can be a great blessing, because it leads to greater learning and opens new vistas of life. It can be very isolating and miserable to always think that you have arrived at the right conclusions and taken the right action. Doubt causes us to examine our motives and actions. This process builds wisdom.

The next building block is the virtue of silence. Our wisdom is evaluated by our ability to listen at peace. True silence is a strength. We are not truly silent when we do not speak but are boiling with frustration and anger. Wise people learn the discipline of silence by knowing the art of listening. Silence is an important part of wisdom.

Wisdom is a combination of knowledge and experience. That leads me to believe that the wise person seeks all the knowledge and experience that they can possibly absorb. Let us take advantage of any opportunity to learn a new fact or understand a new concept. If we are vivacious readers and learn of things that are not of immediate use, then we are equipped for whatever life throws at us. Experience is an important part of wisdom. The more we try to use our knowledge, the more it is tested. This testing teaches us that we all know far less that we think. Those tests bring wisdom.

The writer of Proverbs says that wisdom will guard us. Wisdom is the virtue that guards us from foolish and quick action. Wisdom allows us to know when to be silent and when to speak. This same wisdom allows us to carry on in time of distress and failure. Wisdom imparts to us the value of ourselves in a realistic way. We are never as great or as bad as our minds tell us. Every one of God’s creatures needs a gatekeeper, and wisdom is the one that guides, builds and protects us.                                                                                                    

Quotes Banner

Doubt is the origin of wisdom.

~~~Augustine of Hippo

The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.

~~~Napoleon Bonaparte

Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.

~~~Immanuel Kant

Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.

~~~Albert Einstein

Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.

~~~Francis Bacon

A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence.

~~~ Pythagoras

The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

~~~Benjamin Disraeli

Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.

~~~Confucius

Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.

~~~Leonardo da Vinci

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

~~~Benjamin Franklin

There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool.

~~~ Diogenes

Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.

~~~ Kahlil Gibran



Scripture BannerIs wisdom with the aged,

   and understanding in length of days?

~~~Job 12:12

For the Lord gives wisdom;

   from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

~~~Proverbs 2:6

Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;

   love her, and she will guard you.

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,

   and whatever else you get, get insight.

~~~Proverbs 4:6-7

When pride comes, then comes disgrace;

   but wisdom is with the humble.

The integrity of the upright guides them,

   but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.

~~~Proverbs 11:2-3

By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,

   and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.

~~~Proverbs 16:6

To get wisdom is to love oneself;

   to keep understanding is to prosper.

~~~Proverbs 19:8

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;

   fools despise wisdom and instruction.

~~~Proverbs 1:7

For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.

~~~Ecclesiastes 2:26

For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.

~~~1 Corinthians 1:25

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.

~~~James 3:17

A fool gives full vent to anger,

   but the wise quietly holds it back.

~~~Proverbs 29:11

Happy are those who find wisdom,

   and those who get understanding,

for her income is better than silver,

   and her revenue better than gold.

~~~Proverbs 3:13-14

Prayer Banner

Lord, This day I seek lady wisdom. She can lead me to the path that will bring joy and blessing in my life. I confess that I have often forsaken wisdom for the foolishness that plagues me. With your help I can focus on what is necessary to lead a life that develops wisdom each day. Give me enough doubt and enough hunger for knowledge to become wiser this very day.

Amen

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THIS WEEK–Abide

Abide – Remain in expectation, wait. Stay, remain, reside, dwell, endure, stand firm.

(Oxford Dictionary)





The word abide has an inbuilt connotation of a call to be a stable and patient person. Those two characteristics are not common virtues in our society. We live in a world of instant access and gratification. Our self-worth is damaged if we must wait. There is sense of restlessness that causes us to not want to wait or be still. Such actions are somehow a waste of time or an intrusion in our lives. The Bible, in one way or another speaks often of waiting.

So, Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine. (John 8:31) I stress that Jesus said continue in his word. That is the key to abiding in God. We must stay with him and learn of him. Our faith journey is just that- a journey. All too often we see faith as a destination, but the only destination we have is to abide in God day by day. That requires that we learn the secret of abiding.

Abiding is long term. We all know a long-term debt takes many years to pay off. The typical home mortgage is 30 years or more. Cars are now financed for as much as 8 years. When we take on this long-term debt, we know that we must pay it regularly and be patient. Just as we enjoy the house we live in or the car we drive even though we have the debt, we can enjoy our abiding journey with God. He gives us the blessings of each day and the strength to endure the tough times. He is committed to long-term, and you should be, too.

Abiding is boring from time to time. Boredom is another great enemy of abiding in God. The blessings do not always flow down like a rushing stream. There are times when life is plain dull and slow. We are often tempted to do something to liven up our lives. Jimmy Buffet’s song, “Gypsies in the Palace,” presents a ridiculous solution to boredom when he sings,” Snake this party is getting dull, let’s throw someone in the pool.” Christians are always getting ready to throw someone in the pool when our abiding journey is getting boring. Our church is not alive, our prayers do not have the right answers. God is with us even in those boring and unexciting times. Oswald Chambers refers to the “the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smother the burning heart” and stresses that is the most important time to recall the abiding presence of God.

Abiding in God is a call to change. It is a call to change our expectations in life. It is a call to reevaluate our way of living. As we abide in Christ, we distance ourselves from the world. By world I mean base elements of our nature and not some strange detachment from normal life. Those who abide in him are active in life and seek to be a positive role model for the world. They can wear fashionable clothing and enjoy contemporary music but are always ready to acknowledge who they follow. That is the change- we must acknowledge him. To abide in God, we must be willing to acknowledge him to all the world. Abiding in God is not being a like member of a secret society, but it is having the sort of faith that is fully visible to the world. Most Christians tend to say that our faith is private, but it is not. A private faith is not an abiding faith, and that is the change we must embrace. We must go public.

In the words of Oswald Chambers, “There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus.” That is our call and challenge for this day- to abide in him at all times and under all circumstances.

Quotes BannerThe more we abide in Christ, the more His grace and power transform us into His image.

~~~Lailah Gifty Akita

Abiding does not mean sitting idly by. It means resting in the work, resting in the moment, resting in the truth, resting in the confidence that God is your provision.

~~~Robin Bertram

“There is no condition of life in which we cannot abide in Jesus. We have to learn to abide in Him wherever we are placed.

~~~Oswald Chambers

It is the simple, dreary day, with its commonplace duties and people that smothers the burning heart–unless we have learned the secret of abiding in Jesus.

~~~Oswald Chambers

You can do anything under one condition; you must continually abide in Jesus Christ

~~~Sunday Adelaja

I left in love, in laughter, and in truth, and wherever truth, love and laughter abide, I am there in spirit.

~~~Bill Hicks

Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.

~~~Harper Lee

Time abides long enough for those who make use of it.

~~~Leonardo da Vinci

For any young democracy, the most difficult but important step is burying the legacy of tyranny and establishing an economy and a government and institutions that abide by the rule of law. Every country faces challenges to the rule of law, including my own.

~~~Joe Biden

Amidst the confusion of the times, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives.

~~~Thomas S. Monson

A friend is one soul abiding in two bodies.

~~~Diogenes

Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.

~~~Calvin Coolidge





I have built you an exalted house,

  a place for you to abide forever.’

~~~1 Kings 8:13

Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

~~~ John 15:9

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

~~~John 15:10

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.

~~~John 15:4

Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

~~~2 John 1:9

‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’

~~~Haggai 2:5

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

~~~John 15:5

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned.

~~~John 15:6

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

~~~John 15:7

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.

~~~Romans 11:22

Prayer BannerLord, I ask that you abide in me in my coming and my going, my success and failure, my good days and bad days and may you at all times know that there is a place for you in my life. Let me pause this moment and invite you in so that I may live in the blessed assurance of your abiding presence and love.

Amen

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THIS WEEK – Sacrifice

Sacrifice – The surrender of something valued or desired, especially ones life, for the sake of something regarded as more important or worthy , or in order to avoid a greater loss.

(Oxford Dictionary)



Sacrifice is an unpopular concept in modern American thought. We have been conditioned to think that we must sacrifice nothing, and that sacrifice is a sign of weakness. To the contrary, people who know how to sacrifice are some of the strongest people in the world.

Let me tell you the story of an obscure Japanese Ambassador.

Chiune Sugihara was born on a day of new beginnings January 1, 1900. As a boy, he cherished the dream of becoming the Japanese ambassador to Russia. By the 1930s, he was the ambassador to Lithuania, just a step away from Russia.

One morning, a huge throng of people gathered outside his home. They were Jews who had made their way across treacherous terrain from Poland desperately seeking his help. They wanted Japanese visas which would enable them to flee Eastern Europe and the Gestapo.

Three times Sugihara wired Tokyo for permission to provide the visas; three times he was rejected. He had to choose between the fulfillment of his dream as an ambassador and people’s lives. He chose the latter. He dared to disobey orders. For twenty-eight days he wrote visas by hand, barely sleeping or eating. Recalled to Tokyo, he was still writing visas and shoving them through the train windows into the hands of the refugees who ran alongside. Ultimately, he saved six thousand lives.

Sugihara was not only a courageous Japanese, he was also a committed Christian. He spent his remaining days in Japan, humbly selling light bulbs. When his story was finally told, his son was asked, “How did your father feel about his choice?” The young man replied, “My father’s life was fulfilled. When God needed him to do the right thing, he was available to do it.”

Most of us will not be faced with the level of sacrifice that was thrust upon Ambassador Sugihara, but if we were, I hope that we would all be able to show his level of courage and commitment. The true meaning of sacrifice is to be able to give up something precious for the sake of someone else. We should not spend our lives looking for that great sacrifice but preparing for when it comes.

We may never be called upon to make an ultimate sacrifice, but we need learn to make those small sacrifices that define out lives. A life that is defined by selfishness and greed has no joy. God created us for joy and abundance and the realization that we are all our brothers’ keepers. In order to live life to the fullest, we must be willing to make sacrifices. There are sacrifices to God and to our neighbors.

Sacrifice does not bring scarcity but abundance. The fruits of sacrifice are blessing, joy and fulfillment. As we condition ourselves to be willing and able to sacrifice with this knowledge, we begin to see a new and greater world.



Quotes BannerLove proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers, and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.

~~~Thérèse of Lisieux

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

~~~Pele

Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness.

~~~ Napoleon Hill

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.

~~~Edmund Burke

Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.

~~~Mitch Albom

As my sufferings mounted, I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation — either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.

~~~Martin Luther King Jr.

The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.

~~~Gaylord Nelson

Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience.

~~~Thomas Merton

The happiness of love is in action; its test is what one is willing to do for others.

~~~Lew Wallace 

Truth often sacrificed for the sake of stability and peace.

~~~Toba Beta



Scripture BannerSo Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

~~~Hebrews 9:28

For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.

~~~Luke 9:24

To do what is right and just

is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

~~~Proverbs 21:3

Honor the Lord with your wealth,

with the first fruits of all your crops.

~~~Proverbs 3:9

Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.

~~~Romans 6:13

Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

~~~Matthew 20:28

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

~~~John 15:13

And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

~~~Ephesians 5:2

To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

And call upon the name of the Lord.

~~~Psalm 116:17

When you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted.

~~~Leviticus 22:29Prayer BannerLord, Sacrifice is a hard thing. I was born with a nature to keep and accumulate, but you taught me by your own sacrifice the value of giving for others. Let your example be the blueprint and guide for my life. I ask you this day to give me the courage and strength to sacrifice for others as the need arises. May I learn the blessings of living a life of selflessness.

Amen

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This Week-Gift



Gift – The voluntary transference of property without anything in return. A faculty, power, or quality bestowed; a virtue or endowment looked on as an emanation from heaven.

(Oxford Dictionary)



A gift is the voluntary transference of property without anything in return. Each year at Christmas time we begin to search for the right gifts for those who are close to us, but with that definition are we really giving gifts? Christmas is a traditional time of giving, but we must remember that a true gift expects nothing in return. We must understand that the gifts of the Christmas and birthday sort are the acknowledgement of the worth and value of our relationship to the receiver only if we do not expect quid pro quo.

To better understand the concept of gift, we must look to God’s gift to us. He created us and gifted us with this world, and when we rejected it he still loved us and gifted us further. From the time we rejected his gift, he began to try to win us back. He was determined to recreate his creation. When all else had failed he came himself and offered us a path of grace. God is the ultimate example of a gift giver. The quotes and scriptures I have published in this piece examine the many facets of the word.

We are gifted with the ability to do certain things in life. There are those who can make beautiful music or paint beautiful pictures, and others who can write prose and poetry. All these and more are natural gifts which were bestowed upon us by God when he created us. We would do well to be grateful to him for what he has given us and use our talents and gifts for the betterment of his creation.

There are other gifts that are not as easily visible or understood. Paul said to the Corinthian church,”And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.” Simply put, God has equipped each one of us with the gift we need to be his partners in the salvation of his creation. This is most “other worldly” to think that God has given you something of himself that resides in you in a special way, and giving it with the free will to exercise it or to neglect it. He did give us a gift without expecting anything in return.

That is our challenge when we give to others. We are to learn to give without expectation of return. Just as we are overwhelmed by the grace of God, it is our hope that as we show our love to others it will be returned. That is the greatest gift of all.





Quotes Banner

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.

― Mary Oliver

May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.

― J.R.R. Tolkien

What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.

― Hans Urs von Balthasar

Everyone has a gift for something, even if it is the gift of being a good friend.

― Marian Anderson

A friend is a gift you give yourself.

― Robert Louis Stevenson

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.

― Jim Valvano

Every problem is a gift – without problems we would not grow.

― Anthony Robbins

You can do something extraordinary, and something that a lot of people can’t do. And if you have the opportunity to work on your gifts, it seems like a crime not to. I mean, it’s just weakness to quit because something becomes too hard.

― Morgan Matson

Buy a gift for a dog, and you’ll be amazed at the way it will dance and swerve its tail, but if don’t have anything to offer to it, it won’t even recognize your arrival; such are the attributes of fake friends.

― Michael Bassey Johnson

A wonderful gift may not be wrapped as you expect.”

― Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The great art of giving consists in this the gift should cost very little and yet be greatly coveted, so that it may be the more highly appreciated.

― Baltasar Gracian

The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shock-proof, lie detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.

― Ernest Hemingway

Being present to yourself in love and with kindness is the ultimate gift.

― Amy Leigh Mercree





Scripture BannerAs each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

~~~1 Peter 4:10

Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;

~~~Romans 12:6

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.

~~~1 Corinthians 12:4

For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.

~~~2 Timothy 1:6

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

~~~Ephesians 4:7

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~~~Romans 6:23

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

~~~James 1:17

Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.

~~~1 Timothy 4:14

Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

~~~John 4:10

And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.

~~~1 Corinthians 12:28

Behold, children are a gift of the Lord,

The fruit of the womb is a reward.

~~~Psalm 127:3

Prayer Banner

Lord, The greatest gift you have given me is yourself. Now I implore you to give me the gift of giving to others in the manner you have given to me. With that gift I can begin to set the world right. Allow me to be your servant of giving, so that I may help spread joy and happiness to the world. In some small measure, help it to become what you intended it to be.

Amen

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