JOB 1:21 ON 1/21

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“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” 

– Job 1:21

The Bible tells us that Job was upright and blameless.  He loved the Lord and shunned evil.  He was the most tested Christian of all time.  When we think we’re enduring a test from God, we naturally compare it to the test that Job went through.  Job never cursed God – his wife did, interestingly enough – but he did not.

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What Job declares in the 21st verse of the first chapter is probably the most REAL statement anyone could make.  It’s a statement of fact to be sure – and some of us would do well to heed this humbling reminder.  From dust we are made – and to dust we will return – or at least this human body will.

We’re not deserving of anything just because we were born.  What a ridiculous notion to teach a child!  The world owes you nothing.  God owes you nothing – yet in spite of that, God gave His most precious gift – and we recently celebrated the birth of Christ.  At Easter we will celebrate the final part of salvation’s plan for fallen man – His death, burial and resurrection!   This is the hope of every born again Christian!  Life eternal with Him.  Praise God for His remarkable gift to us!the-give-and-take

We don’t know why He does some things – or why He doesn’t do other things.  We just have to say that He gives and He takes away – and praise Him no matter what.  He inhabits the praises of His people.  If we don’t praise Him, the rocks will cry out to praise Him!  We are tossed about in this life, but let’s run to Christ as a first response, not a last resort.

The toys you acquire while on this planet are not lasting.  You cannot take them with you when you die.  I know we don’t like to think about it, but it’s the truth.  God doesn’t mind us having nice things but keep in mind that He is a jealous God and will not have anything put before Him in your heart.  He must be in first place, or He will not be there at all.

The devil will try you, and God will test you, but remember it is to make you stronger and increase your faith.  The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the LORD.  You can take the King James away from the blogger, but you can’t get the blogger to forget the version she memorized.  Um…  something like that. 

Before I go, I want to emphasize the fact that the phrase THE LORD GIVETH does not mean that God gives things like sickness or death to you.  God gives good gifts to His children.  Job went through this trial because satan told God that he could get Job to curse Him.  God gave satan permission to try Job – and try him he did – to the max.  God told satan he could do anything except kill Job.

Job came through satan’s trial and never cursed God.  He just kept praising Him.  How cool is that?  I don’t know about you, but that gives me strengthened faith and hope for my Christian walk.  🙂

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Sometimes the choices we make are irreversible.  Once we begin walking forward, we just have to keep going and never turn around.  Those decisions are made slowly and methodically.  Make sure you give it much thought, because you know there’s no going back.  Nothing in your life will ever be the same again.  You have to ask yourself if there may be a time in the future when you’d like for things to be the way they are.  If the answer is no, then there’s no reason to stay where you are.  That’s the only time it’s okay to take action and keep walking forward.

I’ve only done that once.  I don’t care to ever do anything that painful again for the rest of my life.

I’ve learned that there are things that go wrong that don’t always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I’ve learned that some broken things stay broken, and I’ve learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones, as long as you have people who love you.  – Bobby Fulks

Sometimes decisions are made for us.  Things happen in life that are completely out of our control.  Life-altering experiences occur and that’s when we are left with our faith in God.  We hopefully have people in our lives who love us, but we know without a doubt that we have God…  and yes – He loves us.  He cares and He wants to hear what our hearts are feeling.  Even if what has happened leaves us frightened and angry and alone – He still wants to hear from us.

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Life is a little like on the job training.  We are born into this world – expected to perform at a certain level through school and receive a diploma which magically leads us to the pursuit of happiness.  Right?  Hang on, Sloopy…  let’s back this truck up.

Stuff happens in life because not only are we just human, but the people around us are… you guessed it…  human.  We all have dreams and expectations once we graduate.  We’re going to meet the right person to spend a lifetime with – we’re going to have this wonderful family together and we’ll fly off into fluffy white clouds in a classic car – like Danny and Sandy did at the end of the movie GREASE.

Have you ever seen a classic car fly???  I rest my case.  Just as a classic car most definitely will not fly, no woman could possibly fit into that leather outfit that Sandy wears toward the end of the movie.  I’m convinced that’s why most men want to watch that movie so many times.  Sigh.  I dunno – maybe it is to see the classic cars… 

Yes, life is like on the job training; however, most jobs are dull compared to the twists and turns that life takes.  When it seems your life is a rollercoaster ride, just keep in mind that Jesus sits at your side.  He doesn’t need a barf bag…  but there are times when you might need one.  Jus’ sayin’…

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The common thread throughout this topsy turvy ride of life is LOVE.  Find LOVE – a connection that makes it all worthwhile.  Love here on earth, of course…  but know that you are loved completely by your LORD.  He knows you better than anyone, and He loves you more than anyone here ever will.  We need human love to hang in there.  We need God’s love to make us whole and give us purpose.

Finding love on this earth is so difficult.  Finding love from Heaven is so simple.  🙂

 

 

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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There are different meanings behind the word CHARACTER.  We talk about a character that is portrayed in a movie or program on TV.  Sometimes we refer to a person as a real CHARACTER…  it’s usually not a compliment.  It’s rare these days to hear that a person has a good CHARACTER, meaning that they can be trusted and live an upstanding life.

Which one of these definitions describe you now?  No, wait – don’t tell me.  The real question is, which one of these definitions would you like to describe you in 2016?

Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passed.  – Cavett Robert

It’s going to sound like I’m trying to lay guilt on you, but which one of these CHARACTER definitions would Christ be pleased with where you’re concerned?  Hmm…  that puts it in a different light, doesn’t it?  I’m pretty sure He would not like for me to BE a CHARACTER – not in that way.  And I won’t be acting anytime soon, so…

There is just one kind of CHARACTER to be known as – that is to have a good CHARACTER – a good reputation, a good track record, as it were…  He is pleased when we are what we’re supposed to be as His child.

Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.  – Maya Angelou

Sadly, there are a ton of examples of Christians who put forth all the right stuff – or so it seemed – and in the end, they were not genuine in their relationship with Christ.  If we are going to claim Christ is our Savior, we need to tow the line in the relationship.  I’m not fussing at you, I’m talking to me too.

THE YEAR OF DAILY STEPS

We fail because we’re human, but we need to do our very best in spite of the times we fail Him.  God is so faithful to us and He does forgive when we ask.  In 2016, let’s put our best foot forward in our relationship with Christ and be people of good CHARACTER…  when the world sees us, may they say, “Yes, this is a little Christ…  a Christian with good CHARACTER.”  🙂

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

TL 1-1 HAPPY NEW YEARI’m the only one in my family that eats black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  It’s a tradition that began when I was just a little girl.  Today I’ll eat a bowl all by myself, but I’ll be thinking of my parents, who put enough butter and black pepper on their peas to drown out the natural flavor.

Whether you eat black-eyed peas or not, this day represents the dawn of a free slate – a fresh start – a new beginning!  There are no mistakes in this day yet.  Well, unless you count that I forgot to put the cap on the toothpaste this morning – okay that was a goof.

But the point is, we have the choice to begin from here and LET GO of all our past transgressions and missteps.  Honestly, to hang on to that stuff – especially the things you will never EVER have the power to change – well, that can just make you bitter and angry and very cranky toward others.  Is that what you really want?  It’s not what I want! 

So today I want to encourage you to literally let the past go…  release it into the vastness of space where it can rise up so far that it eventually breaks into millions of tiny pieces and evaporates completely.  Life is too short to huddle up with past hurts and tons of regret that serve absolutely NO purpose in your life today.

Focus on this day – this present moment – this is what you have, and tomorrow it will be part of the past as well.  The older I get, the less I hang on to.  I just closely filter the things I choose to get my knickers in a knot over – and it’s never over anything that I cannot change.  I cannot waste my time and my energy trying to re-write history.  What’s done is done and it can’t be replayed with a different outcome – so why leave the tape in your head?  Get it out of there – and refocus your mind on the things of today – the new challenges and the new adventures that lie ahead in this new, fresh exciting year!

We have important choices to make in the future – we have to choose a president for our country!  We have new jobs to learn, new skills to hone, new paths to tread – and right beside us is our constant companion, God!  He will see us through anything He brings us to in life.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!  God’s got this!  🙂

TELL A FAIRY TALE DAY

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My wife said she wanted a “fairy-tale romance,” so I’ve locked her in a tower.  – @TONYCOWARDS

Most of us grew up listening to fairy tales.  My favorite was “Jack and the Beanstalk”.  I imagined myself as Jack, climbing up the huge beanstalk that reached high above the clouds.  That’s really funny because in elementary school I was the kid whose feet could not leave the big knot on the rope when it was time to climb it.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.  She got her own TLC show.  The end.  – Ryan Anderson @KOLCHAK

Fairy tales take us to magical places where pixie dust flows freely and no one is ever cranky.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Oh, but I guess there were those few dwarfs in “Sleeping Beauty” was one of them cranky?  LOL – well I don’t remember – oh, I think it was grumpy.  Same difference…

So if we avoid grumpy we should be in pretty good shape.  Oh, but there was that Evil Queen chick – yeah.  Hmm…  this is sounding less like perfection and more like real life all the time.  What’s with that?

Cinderella’s fairy godmother turned her rags into a gown, mice into horses, and a pumpkin into endless lattes for her and her BFFs to enjoy.  – @THELAURENOBRIEN

There seem to be issues with all fairy tales.  Every one of them have something evil or malicious to be aware of.

I have never worked out the moral to Humpty Dumpty.  Is it, “Don’t let horses perform medical procedures”?  – Ricky Gervais

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I’ll tell you my fairy tale…

Jesus and Me

Once upon a time, there was a happy baby.  She never cried but giggled all the time.  Her daddy said it was because she had gas, but it was because she was happy.  He should not buy into those old wives’ tales.  The baby laughed and giggled at everything.  She decided that nothing was going to make her unhappy.

One day in grade school she tried to read a book.  The letters on the page began to dance and it was very entertaining to the little girl, but she wanted to learn how to make the letters stop dancing so she could make sense of the book.  Her mommy and daddy enrolled her in something called special education.

The little girl paid close attention to the nice teacher and worked very hard with exercises and reading glasses.  She finally learned how to read the words by following them with her finger.  She didn’t enjoy reading at first, but the more she did it, the easier it got and the more she enjoyed it.

Nobody thought the little girl would graduate from high school, but she did!  She celebrated with all her friends and family, and her new best friend.  His name is Jesus.  Jesus helped the little girl with a lot of stuff that she could not have done by herself.

Jesus stayed with the little girl and helped her as she grew into a young woman.  He helped her land a really great job as an editor where she had to do a lot of reading.  Now the woman writes a blog for fun to encourage others to celebrate every day.

Jesus knew about the woman’s problem with reading, but nobody else did.  He will always be the woman’s best friend.

– The End

The Moral of the story is…  Jesus can help you overcome ANY obstacle you face!

Jesus cares and helps us with everything because He loves us so very much!  He is the great giver.  ❤

 

BLUE MONDAY

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WHEN CHRISTMAS IS OVER

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1-5 CHOOSE A SHADE OF BLUE

It’s BLUE MONDAY!  Now, how blue you allow yourself to be is completely up to you.  Choose your shade and rock your mood.  Why do we celebrate this day?  Well, there is no real scientific basis for it, however, it’s thought that a few factors lend themselves to a “let-down” blue mood:

1.  The Polar Vortex is bringing freezing cold temperatures to us.  Most of us don’t adapt to the cold as easily as we do to warm temperatures.

2.  We’ve been on a holiday high, celebrating Christmas with sugary foods we normally wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole.  Now most of us are saying we’re going to lose a ton of weight overnight – am I right?  That in itself is depressing.

3.  Speaking of those New Year’s Resolutions…  by now most of us have messed up and given up.  So, failure can obviously make us depressed.

4.  The bills are rolling in from all that Christmas fun!  I am taking all of my past-due bills and making them into Origami Cranes.  I may as well be creative while I’m waiting for money to fall in my lap, right?

5.  Most of us are heading back to work – back to the mundane routine of the 9-5 work week.  Well, we have to work to make money to pay for the Christmas fun – right?

Well – that was depressing!  Now, let’s look at this with an eye of rationality, shall we?

1.  God will see us through just like He always has.  We don’t have to be in a deep depression, so we can choose a lighter shade of blue today.  Remember that the Lord loves you and will take good care of you.

2.  It’s going to be okay.  If the weather is bringing you down, be thankful to God for your furnace and the warmth of a fireplace if you have one.

3.  If you made some resolutions for the new year and have been less than perfect – so what?  Is that a reason to give up?  Wow, I sure hope not!  Keep trying because that’s all anyone expects of you – don’t beat yourself up about that stuff.  Most resolutions are tough – or you wouldn’t have to make it every year (am I right?)  I make the same ones every year – because it’s where my weakness lies.  Remember – when we are weak – God is strong!  He is strong through our weakness.  Hang in there.  God will help you succeed – imperfectly.

4.  If you have a means to make money – a.k.a. – a job, be thankful.  If you have bills due and money coming in, it means you have friends and family you love and you’ve given them a token of that love.  You’ll get caught up financially because God will help you.  Ask Him and He will show you the way.

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Yes, you have to go back to work today – and some jobs are worse than others.  Just be thankful you don’t have this job:

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You have a choice – it’s okay to be blue, but I hope you will choose a light blue instead of a deep dark blue.  If you suffer from horrible dark blue mood today, maybe you should find a job you like – do what you love because life is just too short…  it is.  🙂

FUN AT WORK DAY

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Follow your dreams – unless it’s that one where you’re at work in your underwear.  – Unknown

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Do you have fun at work???  Well, today you should!  If you are a boss, I have news for you.  Did you know you will get much more productivity from your employees if you make a fun work environment for them?  That’s right!  Nobody wants a job that seriously affects their ability to giggle.  I’ve had a few of those jobs in my life, and I found I made more mistakes and took more “sick” days because I just did not want to be there.

 Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.   – H. Jackson Brown

I’m not saying a workplace should be a circus (unless you actually work in a circus), but there needs to be a bit of fun every day.  Make your employees want to come to work with emotional incentives and a positive overall attitude.

I had three children while I was earning my PhD at Harvard.  When I met with a therapist, one of the first things she asked was, “When was the last time you read a book for fun?”  That day, schlepping my preschoolers through the grocery store, I picked up a copy of Jurassic Park.  I read all night.  That question became a pivotal part of my career as a coach and self-help author.  Inject fun into any joyless portion of your life.  Everything can change.  – Martha Beck, PhD

Positivity works from the top down – not from the bottom up.  If you as a boss have a great outlook and make things more fun for your people, then your people will respect you and work well with and for you.

I’ve worked for some great people, and I’ve worked for some not so great people.  The great ones make sure you know you matter and make sure the work environment is friendly and not hostile or overly competitive.  They don’t micro-manage, but they know what is going on in their department.  There is always an element of FUN with a great boss.

 Thank God every morning when you get up, that you have something to do that day which must be done, whether you like it or not.  Being forced to work and forced to do your best will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.   – Charles Kingsley 

Leadership is a gift some people naturally possess.  It’s important to learn how to be the best leader you can be for the sake of those under you.  The bottom line is, the better you treat your people, the more work you will get from them.  You have to earn their respect and their commitment.

All happy companies are different:  Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem.  All failed companies are the same:  They failed to escape competition.  – Peter Thiel

For most people, committing time to a job is not just about getting a paycheck.  It’s about knowing you can have a bit of fun along the way and not get in trouble for it.  🙂