Good thing I got a pedicure last night. :)

Something I heard last night has been ringing in my head still this morning.  “This will be the best 25 minutes of your day.” This is what the exercise instructor said at the beginning of the workout.  I immediately thought, “Yea, it could be, but there is so much more to make it ‘the best’.” 

Having all my family together in one room…the best!

Snuggling with my man…the best!

Actually cooking a creative meal with family while listening to music…the best! (Oh, how I wish I had more of these moments.)

Watching the sunrise or sunset over the horizon…the best!

Teaching children in school and at church and seeing them have an “Ah-ha” moment…the best!

This list could continue.  But what is really at the top of my list is my prayer time and getting into God’s word seeking His desire for my life…the best!

Now, if you want to combine all those “bests” together and have me sharing God’s love with others at sunset, on the beach, with a great meal we prepared together, and then end it with a snuggle time from my man…then that’s just fine with me.

God led me to Romans 10:17 this morning.  I love how when I read one verse, and then another translation expands one verse to others so you catch the meaning of the verse intended a little better.   That’s what happened when I was reading verse 17, and then The Message translation extended it from verse 14 to verse 17. 

It reads like this in The New Living Translation:

  • Romans 10:14-17, “But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? 15 And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”16 But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “Lord, who has believed our message?”17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”

Here I was seeking a verse that focused on spending time with God, and I was surrounded by so much more. 

Hearing God speak is what I enjoy while spending time with Him.  But, when we hear the Good News about Christ, we need to make sure that we just don’t soak it into our marrow and let it just resonate within us, but let it overflow from us and share that Good News with others. 

We are to be the “beautiful feet” and share God’s love and goodness with others.

This week would be a perfect time for you to do that.  This coming Sunday is (in my opinion) the greatest holiday for Christians.  This Sunday we will celebrate our risen Savior.  He’s alive!  Why not invite someone to church this Sunday?  They just may be waiting on one simple invite.  That invitation can come from you.

Go be the beautiful feet.

I pray that you will spend at least 25 minutes of your God-given twenty-four hour day with our Creator.

I pray God’s abundant love and blessings for y’all.

Yea, you thought I was slackin’.  Well, maybe this morning, because I needed to get to school early today.  But tonight, week FIVE day one routine resumed.    I can’t believe I’m on week 5!

Tonight I heard Shaun T. say a couple of saying that stuck in my mind; “Give it everything you’ve got!”  “Do this with a purpose!”  Amen and amen! 

In life, give it all you’ve got and live with a purpose.

In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 we read, “Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.”  (MSG)  I love Paul’s writings.  He lays it all on the line and encourages me to live for God more. 

Yes, we must be on guard at all times.  Satan loves to see us stumble.  Don’t let him grab hold of you. 

Always stand firm in your faith.  Hold on to it.  Even when your conviction goes against the grain of everyone else’s perception, hold tight! 

Give it all you’ve got!  Be courageous.  I love all the synonyms for the word courageous:  spunky, audacious, daring, brave, spirited, etc.  If that doesn’t make you want to get up and go, I don’t know what will.  I just had a thought… maybe for some, those words sound exhausting and/or terrifying. Hmmmm, well then, just be brave for God.  He’ll take care of you.

Above all, do everything with love.  Lots of love!

Psalms 138:8a reads, “The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.”  He has a purpose for you.  Seek His will for your life.  Live for Him!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

I’m glad we are not like my thumb-drive…“a lost cause”.

A few weeks back one of my students walked by my classroom computer and accidentally bumped into my thumb-drive while going back to his seat.  When he did, it bent the chip inside.  (He has no clue he did it.  I never told him.)

I took it to my tech people at school, and they recommended that I take it to a computer store because they didn’t want to damage it more.  I finally went today!  I walked into one store and the gentleman tried to read it, but no luck.  So I went to another computer store, and they too were unable to save my year’s worth of lesson plans, some devotionals, and some old photos from my other computer. 

I said to the two owners, “So, you’re telling me it’s a lost cause?”  Their reply, “Yes, so sorry.”

Remember in Luke 15:3-7  the story of the lost sheep?

  • “So Jesus told them this story: “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. When he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’In the same way, there is more joy in heaven over one lost sinner who repents and returns to God than over ninety-nine others who are righteous and haven’t strayed away!”

Did you read that last verse?  There is much joy and a celebration when the lost one is found. Glory!

Many folks think that they’ve done so many wrong things that God won’t want them.  Or they have it in their head that they’ve got to “do better” before they turn their life over to Christ.  Are you kidding me?  We cannot do this on our own.  A changed life is a God thing.  He wants all of us to be with Him in paradise.

Luke 19:10  says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  Yes He did! 

So I’m here to inform you that you are NOT a lost cause!  No “so sorry” here.  Just much rejoicing when you’re found.

I pray God’s abundant love and blessings for y’all.

 

Nuts!

 

My oh my where has the time gone?  My boy is graduating this year from high school! 

Yesterday I got to take pictures of my “four boys” for their grad party.  They were a hoot!  Then they sat around in the backyard and we talked about when they first met each other, mom’s advice on finding a church to attend while away at school (New York, Colorado, & Tallahassee) and having each others’ back, and they joked about “stuff” in general.  Memories!

This morning I was thinking about bible verses you may want to use with a graduate.  I remember writing a journal entry about this very topic a while back.  When I opened up the website and found the entry, the picture made me go, “Wow! Where has the time gone?”

If you need a verse or two or more for a graduate, click here.

I’m sure I’ll post more on this topic as the month passes.  (*sigh* *tear* *choked up*) (Ugh, here I go again with needing some tissues.)

 

 

I pray God’s abundant love and blessings for y’all.

 

Christian, Hunter, Landon, and Hassan.

 

 

 

 

Yea, this one. My heart overflows with love, still.

“Inhale…Exhale”  journal entry has taken on a whole new meaning.

Slowly breathe in and out.  Count to ten.  Close my eyes.  Think positive.  Focus on God’s goodness.  That’s what I had to do this morning with a certain teen in my house this morning.  I’m sure big brother loved the head-to-head/never-back-down conversation between me and his lovely sister.  I can just see him smiling and thinking, “Haha, it’s your turn.”

Ugh!  Teenagers!  Especially when they have the stubbornness of their mother.

Yea, yea, yea, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.Psalm 127:3.  I know.  There are just times when…no I’m kidding, I’d never return my kiddos.  I just would wish God would polish that reward a little more.  In time, Stephanie, in time. 

Breathe in and out.  In and out.  This too shall pass.

Maybe God needs to keep polishing me too.  (Keep rubbing, God.)

Blessed!  Ok, I am blessed!

Am I alone?

Just Breathe. 

Have you ever been near a chemical plant, landfill, freshly “used” cow pin, or your own trash on a later day than normal trash day, and tried to inhale deeply?  Ugh!  That is stanky!  You know you want to remove yourself from that vicinity as soon as possible.

Now, let’s switch the scenario. Place yourself in a new car, a field of wildflowers, or a laundry room where the fresh dryer sheets or clothes detergent’s aroma fills the room.  Ahhh, the newness, beauty, and freshness are so pleasant.

That’s a lot like our daily walk with God. 

When you are in a situation where you are surrounded by sin or wallowing in it yourself, you feel “stanky”.  Flee!  Run far away so you won’t have to breathe in the foulness, and be consumed by it.  Sin can consume you.  It’s up to you to turn from sin, and instead turn to God.

When you are spending time growing closer to God, desiring to know Him more, and spending time in His word, that is a pleasing aroma to God.  You will feel “as fresh as a daisy”. Inhale God’s goodness.  Fill yourself with His love and exhale His love to others.

Inhale.  Exhale.  Inhale God.  Exhale God.  Now doesn’t that feel refreshing?  Glory!

  • Psalm 150:6, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.”
  • 2 Timothy 3:16a, All Scripture is God-breathed

That’s what I thought about while focusing on my breathing today while working my abs.  Turn your daily life routine into a God thought.  Go for it!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

 

I totally borrowed this pic from google images!! Not my abs, but I'll get there.

“When you focus on the core, everything else just seems to fall into place.”

Oh if this doesn’t sound like something I’ve said time and time again.  Here’s the way I memorized Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

But I love how The Message translation put it starting with verse 30 and ending with 33:

  • “If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think He’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do His best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way He works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how He works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

The quote at the beginning of today’s journaling was something the exercise instructor (Shaun T) said while working out.  He, of course, was pertaining to our body, but in my mind, of course, I made it relevant to our spiritual growth.

Ok, stay with me here…Just last week I mentioned to my daughter how I find myself focusing on sucking my abs in (my core).  When I do this, I grow a little taller because it makes me stand up straighter.  My posture improves, which is something I definitely need work on (Ugh, I tend to slouch.).  Also, besides making my tummy look flatter, I’m working on those muscles while sucking in my abs.  The actions of my workout are overflowing into my daily life and making me feel better.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Yes!  The same is with our daily walk with God.  You guessed it!

The more we focus on “The Core” (God) the taller we’ll feel, the straighter we’ll walk, the more our “walk” will improve, and we’ll just feel a whole lot better, y’all, because we are focusing on Him and not ourselves or the troubles life brings.  Get it???

Now, I’ve got a long way to go in automatically keeping my abs tightened, but I’m a work in progress…just like with my walk with The Savior.

Seek God first, and everything else will fall into place.  God will take care of you!  Stay with Him.

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Kudos to my man, Tim, for taking the photo. ;)

I am big prayer warrior. If you ask me to pray about something for you, consider it done.  When someone’s face or names comes across my mind that I haven’t seen in a while, and after I think, “Wow!  I haven’t seen that person in a while!”, I take that as God wanting me to pray for them.  Done.

My brothers are awesome examples of praying for others.  I so admire that when someone approaches them (myself included) and ask them to pray for them, without hesitation they grab a hand, touch a shoulder, or just over the phone receiver and begin praying. I followed my brothers’ example last week when a friend came to me to pray about a job opportunity.  Now, my prayer may not have been eloquent, but I meant it, and have continued praying for her this past week.

Before my feet hit the floor, prayer is the first thing I do each morning.  Throughout the day, that communication with God is vital!  And, my day always ends in prayer. Often I fall asleep on God.  (That’s not a bad way to fall asleep either…while talking with God.)

This past week, praying specific things for my children has been pressed upon my heart. So, after my workout and cool down session each morning, I’ve extended my stretch time on the mat and my prayer time for my children.

Therefore, when the exercise instructor, within the first five minutes of our routine said, “Give me praying hands”, I took that as a clue from God to stick with the extended prayer time and write about it.

I love how The Message translation writes Ephesians 6:13-18.   See for yourself:

  • Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.

It doesn’t matter if you pray lying down, on your knees, while walking or driving (eyes open of course), sitting in a chair, or however.  God just wants you to take all your desires, thanksgivings, and requests to Him.  Chat it up with God.  You won’t regret the time you spend talking to Him.

Here are a couple of website you can go to for more verses and thoughts on prayer:

God Vine

What Christians want to know

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

Funny thing….as I’m posting this, Wayne Watson is singing “When God’s People Pray”  on the music channel.  Yep, pray it up y’all!

I’m taking the biblical saying, “Be fruitful and multiply” to a different concept today.  I’m not asking you to grow our population, but to grow your character. (Hmmm, I just had a thought…maybe when we grow our character it will permeate into others lives and then, yes, grow our populations’ character as well.  Be contagious!)

Ok, so how do we do this?  Let’s get a little “fruity”.  Check out these two sets of scripture:

  • “…do all you can to add to your life these things: to your faith add goodness; to your goodness add knowledge;to your knowledge add self-control; to your self-control add patience; to your patience add devotion to God; to your devotion add kindness toward your brothers and sisters in Christ, and to this kindness add love. If all these things are in you and growing, you will never fail to be useful to God. You will produce the kind of fruit that should come from your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who don’t grow in these blessings are blind. They cannot see clearly what they have. They have forgotten that they were cleansed from their past sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9
  • “But the fruit that the Spirit produces in a person’s life is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these kinds of things.” Galatians 5:22-23  

Yum!  Just look at all the good fruit!  Pour it in a big bowl and mix it up.  This is one “fruit salad” you’ll definitely crave more of.

While exercising this morning, the concept of “self-control” kept entering into my mind.  When I was reminding myself of having self-control in various poses, how can I not think about how much it as a need quality in our daily lives?

There are so many things that I could just lose it on or become lackadaisical with, but I must consciously choose to have self-control.

Just look at the benefits in the verses above that having self-control leads to: patience, devotion to God, kindness, love, and so much more.

I believe this is a characteristic that God desires for us to have.  Yes, I believe and know it because He says it in His living word.

Just like when I have self-control while exercising strengthens my body, displaying it in our daily life will strengthen our spirit and character.

Go get fruity!

Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you. 

The more time you spend with someone the deeper your relationship grows.

I see in the “world of pre-teens and teens” the cattiness that comes with it.  (Especially with girls. Ugh!)  Many times in my own daughter’s life, she would tell me about someone that “someone else said about them”, and then when she gets to know that other person, she finds a different take on them. Why? Because she spent a little time with them in one situation or another and got to know them for herself.

I have friends that I spend a considerable more amount of time with them than I do with my own siblings.  At times, I feel that I know my friends better than I do my own kin.  But the great thing about my brothers is…”Blood is thicker than water”. Even though we may not see each other as much as I would like to, I know my siblings will be there for me in a heartbeat.  Nothing can undo the bond between us.

Think about even our social media capabilities now.  Someone you’ve hardly seen in years, you now have the opportunity to reconnect, chat with, and watch each other’s life adventures.  You are spending time, via the internet, with that person and building your relationship all over again.

Relationships grow stronger and deeper the more time you spend with someone.

I felt the same way while working out with my five friends who I exercise with each morning. Particularly two of them more than the others.  Why?  Because Shaun is always talking to, instructing, and encouraging me, and Tonya is my “go-to-girl” for modifying.  I spend more time listening to and watching those two.

Hmmm, isn’t that how our daily walk with God should be?  Talking to God through prayer, reading and listening to His instruction, and just spending time with Him in thought is building a stronger and deeper relationship with Him.

If you haven’t discovered already, I hope that you will learn that being a Christian isn’t about religious rituals, but about a relationship with God.  Just because you believe God exist, or that you go to church, or that you are a good person doesn’t get you into heaven where you’ll spend eternity with Him in paradise.  Nope.  All of that sounds/looks good, but you must truly believe in Him and accept God’s Son, Jesus Christ, into your heart. Having Christ in your heart and desiring to know Him more will strengthen your relationship with Him.

Do you desire to know Him more as your personal Savior?  Please click  here and start building your relationship with The One who truly matters.

Blood is thicker than water, and He gave His blood for you.

 Enjoy getting fit physically and spiritually.

3 John 1:2, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”

I’m praying God’s blessings and abundant love for you.