Monday, December 30, 2013

Do we say what we mean, or mean what we say?

Saying what we mean, and meaning what we say, can be so far apart in meaning if you know what I mean? A play on words is one thing, but when we say something are we really thinking it through? When we say something we feel is in jest, do others take it the same way? You know sometimes not. Some folks take what we are saying seriously, and most times they do!

When we speak and how we speak can make a big difference in how we are perceived. Do we match our words with how we live, how we act, how we reach out to others? Or are they just words to impress, and make us feel better about ourselves? A lot of questions here I know, yet do we take time and ask ourselves these before we speak, and do we really understand what we are saying?

When we say I love you for instance, what are we really saying? Are you saying I will give all for you, I will sacrifice all I have for you? Or are we just saying a word to appease or self satisfy, not truly understanding what we are saying at all? When we say and use certain words we need to use caution, not saying we always do it on purpose, sometimes we just need to slow down and make sure we mean what we say, and say what we mean.

Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." NKJV

Do we take Jesus at His word here, does He mean what He is saying, many of us by faith say yes without a doubt! We live our lives based on the saving grace of Jesus Christ if not what hope would we have? If we take Jesus at His word and hold Him to it, why would we expect any less form ourselves? We need to be a people of our word. We need to mean what we say, and say what we mean to give a hope to a people who doubt!

There is not a book written by Christian Authors, no matter the title, that does not speak to this. Whether it is Max Lucado, Pat Williams, Chuck Swindoll, Charles Stanley, etc.. Whenever they write, this subject of the words we use, most always comes out! So this writing is nothing more than to remind us, if you are not able to act on your words, be more cautious of the words you use! Mean what you say by saying what you truly mean!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Alzheimer's does not have to mean loss!

As I was feeding my mom this morning, a thought occurred to me. Many people out there who are dealing with Alzheimer's, you are discouraged, feel like you have lost that one you have loved for so many years. Well we need to change our thinking! They may have forgotten who we are, but we still remember who they are! Moms, Dads, uncle's and aunt's, grandparents, they have not ceased to be who they are, they just don't remember, or are confused.

Though this is not easy for any of us, WE, need to make sure we remember who they are! Mom is still mom, Dad, dad, we need to savor every minute we have, yes it is work, it is hard, but they are so worth it! When we can come to this point, and not look upon this disease as loss, we gain! We appreciate life so much more and begin to live life more gratefully!

As it is with any disease, whether it be cancer, heart, or any other life threatening thing, we need to encourage, love and support! Selfishness should never enter the equation! It is not about your loss, it is about their quality of life, they so deserve it! When I look at my mom, yes I see where she is, but the memories of her smile, especially this time of year, Christmas was her favorite.

It helps me to strive harder than ever to make Christmas a wonder memory of a life lived, not one lost! So if you have a loved one with Alzheimer's, cancer, heart conditions, etc., young or old, help them live life to the fullest! And when they go home, continue to live their life to the fullest, keeping their memory as a treasure, so we can also live our lives to the fullest!

We deserve a time to mourn, this is healthy, we also deserve the time to live, this is healthy also! Share the memories, the joys, that move us forward, not the losses that rob us of life and steal those precious memories and keep us from living! My mom is my mom no matter what, God gave her to me, I will not let Alzheimer's steal that, she is precious in His sight and should no less be in mine!

John 11:21-27
New International Version (NIV)

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

My Christmas Prayer!

My Christmas prayer for those who are sad, lonely, struggling with the loss of a loved one, if it were in my power, oh how I would take your pain! Yet I cannot, there is One though who can and will if you would just come to Him and ask!

Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy burdened, 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 you souls. For my yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Come to the One, who this time of year is about, and watch the change in how you view, sadness, loneliness, loss, and watch what you gain in having a relationship with Jesus Christ! MERRY CHRISTMAS

Monday, December 16, 2013

What would they say if they could?

If we could ask those who have passed on before us, how we should live our lives, I would think 99% of them would tell us, please don't miss me, be alive, because you are. Don't take you life to the grave, it was my time and not yours, live! Don't give up on life because I am not there, live! If all I have left you in your memories is loss and sorrow I have failed you, live!

I would hope my life on earth was happy, and you would remember my smile,  live! I would want you to remember, how I enjoyed this time of year and always made it special, live! My not being there in body does not mean I am not there in memory, live! Laughing should not stop, building on the memories I have left should remain, live!

Our memories should not be wrapped around how we have lost our loved ones, but what we have gained from their memories to carry on and live! We are alive, we need to live like we are. We have been given a gift and that is life, what we do with it now will make a difference when we are gone. How would you like to be remembered, as a person who brightened up a room, or one who walked in  brought the house down with your sorrows?

Mary and Martha did just that when they had lost their brother Lazarus. When Jesus finally arrived on the scene after their brother had passed, they were sorrowful because they only looked at it as loss. Jesus reminded them that death is not the end, life does not end at the grave, it begins! He reminded them that they need to live because of their relationship with Him.

Because in Jesus is life everlasting. Jesus reminded them that their brother was fine and he would rise again. He helped them understand, that knowing Him is what makes the difference if you live or die to life! Jesus said "I Am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this? John 11:25-27

What would their brother Lazarus have said if he had the chance after he had passed? He would have told his sisters to live. Remember my life when I was with you, we laughed, joked, and had Jesus as our friend, if you do anything keep my memories alive, just live!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What words we use?

The biggest problem I see for those struggling with this time of year, are the so many people agreeing that you should struggle because it's that time of year! We should not be reminded that this Christmas season is when so many people struggle! They constantly need the reminder of how precious they are, and what a wonderful gift they are to us and all those around them!

We should always be speaking something encouraging to them, instead we bring up the fact, this time of year is the most difficult for many. Though that may be true, why can't we turn it around, why can't we just use different words? Why can't we share the most difficult time we have had, and how we got through it! Let's get those stories out there instead of always sharing discouraging stories?

We need to see and hear the stories of how someone worked through suicide and got victory! How someone lost a loved one this time of year and how they take the memories and make this time even more special? This time of year, Christmas, is a time we should be hopeful, peaceful, joyous, loving, a time to just share not only the tragedy in our lives but also how we worked through it.

Though I know there are many out there who view this time of year with sadness, we need to point them away from sad, and use that as a tool to reach the opposite, joy! Reminders that this is a time depression increases, suicide is up, etc.. We cannot always make it ok for people to stay where they are in their lives, staying the way they are is not healthy.

We need to let them know more than their depression, there is a way of escape and it's not reminding them of the suicide rate!! Let's come up with stats on survival rates, with the percentages of recovery rates, the percentages of people who have been restored to a place where Christmas has become special again! We have all the negative numbers out how about some research on positive numbers?

I have not been able to easily find any, so I am sure if someone who is struggling is having the same difficulty! People need to see a way out of despair, discouragement, depression, etc.. There are those who have found victory and we need more of those stories. Not the constant reminder of how negative this time of year is for many!

There is hope, lets share that, let's share Christmas in a different light, let us use more words such a special, worth, importance, value, love, compassion, life, people out there need to know they are a gift to themselves and others!  When you hear someone talking about suicide, don't worry what to say, just take time and listen! If they are depressed, take time to listen! If they have suffered loss, take time and listen!

People are not asking for you to feel sorry for them, they are crying out for someone who will not only fix them, but one who will walk with them and listen! People so need to know they are worth it, and they still have purpose!

Proverbs 18:21

English Standard Version (ESV)
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
    and those who love it will eat its fruits.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Wisdom comes to mind!

Wisdom comes to mind after yesterday's snow fiasco. People did not use much wisdom and concern for others on the road, thinking only of themselves and them getting home. Causing only chaos and many unnecessary delays for others, I take this as a lesson and understanding of God's word and the need for true wisdom and being considerate to others.

 I am not perfect, and there was a time I would have been irate and losing my mind with people acting so badly. Yet all Karen and I could do yesterday, as we were stranded on I 495 in Wilmington Delaware for an hour or so, was pray for the safety of others. I was wondering as I prayed, is it really that hard to slow down and be wise and considerate.

 Have we become a people who just plain do not care for our own safety and the safety of those around us? Is it just bad weather that does this to people, or does it just take bad weather for people's true colors to come out? I wonder how many were Christians out there, not happy because they were inconvenienced. 

How many were in just a big hurry as everyone, not being considerate, only thinking of themselves? I feel, we need to think about this as we move forward during the Christmas season, and the time we have here on this earth. What is more important, that we got home on time, or did they see Jesus in my life by my actions? 

Many, or none will read this yet if you do; do not think that your actions yesterday or any day for that fact go unseen or unnoticed. Our Lord sees always. And you never know who did see you and may even recognize you when they visit your church, or see you at a Christian event! 

They may even see you at a secular event, no matter, never feel you have not been seen when your wisdom goes on vacation! Remember if you made it home you gave a sigh of relief. But if your lack of wisdom, and concern for others caused them to be delayed, or even hurt or damaged their car. 

You need to, right now, stop and evaluate your relationship with the Father, and get back on the track, and maybe even try and contact that person and ask for forgiveness! What a testimony of wisdom that would be, and the Father would get the glory!

Proverbs 1:7 
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Romans 12:3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Responsibility, whose job?

You being responsible is not someone else's responsibility, you make a choice own it, make no excuse for it! 

Proverbs 4:26-27, Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your feet away from evil.

It is clear that where we choose to walk in our lives is our decision alone, and no one else's. The problem we run into is this, we just plain do not want to take responsibility for our actions. We most always have someone or something to blame for our ill choice's. Well that is not how it works.

As the writer of Proverbs says, we need to ponder the path we walk. That means we need to think our choice's through, and take a little more time before we decide. The funny part here is this, we do swerve don't we? We know the decision we are about to make is not going to turn out as well as we would like, but we make it!

We are warned not to swerve to the right or left, if we do we are bound to hit the curb! When we do it knocks our life a little out of alignment as it would our car if we hit the curb with it. The amazing thing is this, when we take our car to the mechanic and he fixes the problem and hands us the bill, wow!

We want to yell at him as if it was his fault because we are having to pay for our inattentiveness. When we choose a path other than the one we should be on, there is always a payment that has to be made. If we cannot make the payment than we need to stop and think it through a little harder.

We have to always remember, we are the ones responsible for our choice's and no one else, no one can make us responsible. It is only when we heed to the warnings, proceed with caution, asking God for guidance along the way. Yes we have a free choice, but are we willing to pay the bill that goes along with that freedom? The choice and responsibilty are yours alone.