No! Not My Coupon Folder…Beth Farley

No! Not My Coupon Folder!!!securedownload-4

A few weeks before I moved to Texas my daughter gave me a crash course on extreme couponing. I took notes, clipped my coupons, browsed the web sites and became hooked. I didn’t think I’d become a “stockpiler” but guess what? I am. I am unemployed with very little means of money so this is a way of saving, BIG TIME. I only stock pile on things that we can use. Anything beyond that boundary is donated to the food pantry down the road.

I had an unsettling day this week. I was so distracted by the chatter in my head. I couldn’t settle down to my devotions or Bible reading time. I was bopping all over the house, trying to keep busy from my feelings. Have you ever been there?

There was one thing though that was pulling me towards sitting at the table; it was my desire to do my coupon clipping. I made a cup of coffee, started clipping and sorting and stacking. I began to feel peaceful and content.

Once this blissful task was done, which by the way, takes quite a bit of time, I went over to my desk to get my purple coupon folder only to find it wasn’t there. I went out to my car and checked under the seats, in the trunk and glove compartment. I retraced my steps for at least 45 minutes. My body was gripped with frustration and anxiety. I was frantically looking for my purple folder. All of the Sunday coupons were in that folder. I had not even redeemed half of them yet. I think I might have even spewed a few unnecessary words while in my crazy attempt at finding the folder.

Plopping on the couch and feeling deflated, I realized that I had been so engulfed in the tantalizing coupon folder that I kinda felt ashamed of my behavior. I had not done my devotions. I had not looked at my Bible. I had not prayed nor done any writing which God had called me to do. Why hadn’t I been as passionate about spending time with God this day as I had been about trying to find my coupon folder?

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever been so engulfed in something that you just can’t wait to dig in? You know, the Sunday football game, your golf game, your pedicure, shopping or craft project; these are all great things and God wants us to enjoy them but we all know as Christian we need to find the balance.

John 10:10…A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance. HCSB

One of the greatest things about being human is our tenacity. Life goes on. Sometimes worse for the wear, sometimes better for our efforts, but it always goes on. God takes these things, these daily distractions and files them under the category of “GRACE”.

We are human; He is ALL. We make mistakes; He fixes them. We get distracted; He pulls us closer.

There are times where you just have to drop the whole thing and start again. The purple folder is still missing but today I’m writing. Today I’ve spent time with Him and today…I set out for a new folder….

Psalm 96:1
Sing a new song to the LORD Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

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National Blah, Blah, Day

April 17th, is National Blah, Blah, Day!

I love this! We have a day where we can actually celebrate feeling blah!

How many times do you wake up feeling yucky or go to bed feeling blah? I know I’ve experienced my fair share of blahs. What makes us feel this way?

The other day, I was struggling with my allergies. I know that when I eat too much wheat, I will struggle with allergies. Sure enough, I had cheated by eating a burger bun and then devoured a scrumptious chocolate whoopee pie. Guess what? I’m allergic to chocolate as well. The result? I felt blah.

In my experiences, what makes me feeling blah usually comes from a decision I’ve made or a negative thought I’ve had. My first response to feeling blah is that I want to blame someone else instead of owning the feeling myself. If mom didn’t have those whoopee pies in the house, I would not have eaten them. I’ve learned to take responsibility for how I feel and am trying to remember that it’s a waste of time to blame others for my feelings and reactions.

Today is National Blah Day

  • God gave us the gift of feelings and feeling blah is one of them. What can we do when we are really down?
  • Don’t resist it. Accept it. When the blahs invade your mind, start asking God to reveal what is causing you to feel yucky.
  • Pray for the strength to move past it. What’s the worst thing that could happen? With God on your side, the enemy can’t touch you. (Romans 8:31)
  • Ask God what you can learn from this. There is a reason for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

Feeling blah can be associated with depression, too. You may feel hopeless or feel like you’re walking without a purpose. There is always hope in Jesus. If you put your trust in Him, He will pull you through your situation. I’ve been there; I know.bored-tasks

Several years back, I dealt with severe depression. I had no idea what it was or where it came from. All I know is that it gripped me to the deepest darkness I had ever experienced. That was over twenty-five years ago. Unfortunately, I’ve battled with blah feelings on and off since. But God has brought me to a place in my life where surrender is a little easier than it was 25 years ago. He will never give me more than I can handle. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

I became a true believer!

That time, twenty-five years ago, was the time I developed a personal relationship with Jesus. That was the time when I began pouring my heart out to Him and I haven’t stopped. I live in victory because of good doctors, a carefully-prescribed medication, (medication is never a weakness) and a faithful God who never leaves my side.

So, do I want to celebrate National Blah, Blah, Blah Day? I’m not sure if celebrate is the word for it. I will take this day, April 17th, National Blah Blah Day, and remind myself of the victories I’ve had throughout the years.

If you are depressed, please try not to feel hopeless. There is hope. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 right away. There are fantastic doctors, medications and facilities where you can get the much needed-treatment. If you need prayer, you can personally email me at bethfarley_3@yahoo.com. Blessings!

Come and join the conversation as I host on Livingbygrace.livingbygracepic.jp

If you are depressed, please try not to feel hopeless. There is hope. If you are having thoughts of suicide, call 911 right away. There are fantastic doctors, medications and facilities where you can get the much needed-treatment. If you need prayer, you can personally email me at bethfarley_3@yahoo.com. Blessings!

The Church Bells

Ever get caught up in a saying, sound or sight? Sometimes I can hear something or smell something that will trigger a past event. I love it when that happens, as long as it triggers something good.

Today I was up in my bedroom trying to write. The window was wide open. I welcomed the  smell the pine and the sound of the seagulls squawking.  My creative mind was dragging but I knew this was my only time of day where I could meet my writing goal.

Gripped with writers-block, I began asking, “What do I write about?” I jotted down a few words here and there, but nothing solid came together, until, I heard the bells.ID-100227420

Yes, 4:00 on a Tuesday afternoon I heard the melodious church bells ringing. The sound transported me back in time to a little church in the town of Bingham. There in that town, while growing up, every Saturday afternoon, my Grammy, mom and I would hold hands and walk to the 4:00 service.  Skipping along, I couldn’t wait to walk through the old rugged wooden doors and step into the musty church. The pews were dark splintered mahogany and were filled with nothing but older people. The carpet was torn, the paint was pealing and it was dingy. We would genuflect while making the sign of the cross before filing into our pew. The organist would begin to bang on the keys skipping beats while the choir would cackle in the balcony. They were awful. The priest would say the mass with a very strong French accent making it almost impossible to understand. And there I was, smiling from ear to ear, enjoying every minute of it.

Why did I enjoy this dark drab church where I didn’t understand what was being said? I enjoyed it because I loved the happy content look on my mom’s face. There we were, three generations, worshipping God with the cackling choir.MH900409444

I loved seeing the gigantic wooden cross hanging on the wall by the altar. I loved the sound of the bells that the altar boys would ring. I loved it because God was being worshipped and it was not about denomination but about the joy in my heart.

Why is it hard for many of us to recall good memories?

Many of us are more enthused with our grumbling, griping or constant complaining than we are about our stopping and reflecting on something good. Why is it that we get caught up in the crap or of our lives?stressed-at-work-200x194

It’s really not that hard to think of something positive that has happened. All it took for me today was the sound of a church bell. It may be a food that you’re eating, a song you’re singing or a place you’re visiting. When feeling like you can’t sit still, you need, more than ever, to stop and be still. Try to think about something that makes you feel good. Often in our silence we can discover the pleasant memories of our past.

I am not denominational. I am just in love with God.

Honey Baked Ham Ice Pack

I was reflecting on my limitations with a Honey Baked Ham Ice Pack.

As I age I do not like to come to grips with my limitations. How about you? Do you feel that you have limitations creeping up on you? If so, do you fight the urge to slow down or completely giving up because your body just won’t cooperate?

Recently I was diagnosed with Degenerative Arthritis and my right knee is in bad shape. I experience a lot of pain. Because I was diagnosed with a kidney disease years back, I cannot take any anti inflammatory medications. I also am not one to take any pain medications.

I have been instructed by the physical therapist to only swim or bike ride for exercise. No more walking, jogging or aerobic exercise. These strict instructions crushed me. I’m a walker. I love to walk; it clears my mind and I like to pray while I’m walking. Praying while maneuvering my bike just does not work for me.

Today, I took a ride to the beach. 20150413_131315

I brought my chair, lunch, journal and book. I was just going to sit along the rocks and watch the waves and relax. What was I thinking? I knew better than to think I would just sit there. The beach was calling me to take a stroll.

Dropping my journal and pen, I walked over to the path to get down upon the sand. Oh just a step or two to collect a few shells won’t hurt me. About a half an hour later, I found myself way down on the other side of the sandy beach and I started to feel the pain in my knee. I turned around and painfully made my journey back. By the time I reached my chair, my knee was throbbing. I limped back to the car in excruciating pain.crying-woman1

Tonight I am icing my knee down with a Honey Baked ice pack. We only have crushed ice in the house so I figured this would do. As I sat for a while pouting about my knee, I began thinking about how it scared me to have some physical limitations.20150413_205215

I think when I actually came to this realization, I felt insecure. I started to think that I would not be useful for God. Not that I can’t do other things for God but I pray when I walk. Oh yea, I said that already.

So, what can we do when we are faced with limitations?

  • We can find an alternative route. I can’t walk or jog but I can swim and bike. I can’t pray while walking but I can pray through my journaling.
  • We can pray for serenity. Some times we just have to pray that God will help us let go of our limitations and accept them for what they are.
  • Don’t cry over spilled milk. God will always use you. Until we take our last breath, he will use us to glorify Him.

So, as the Honey Baked Ham ice pack is about all melted, I’ve been able to reflect on this experience. I will no longer disobey the doctor’s orders and I will be reminded that He has a plan through my limitations.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling with a limitation. Give it to God and He will guide you.

. I will no longer disobey the doctor’s orders and I will be reminded that He has a plan through my limitations.

Don’t be discouraged if you’re struggling with a limitation. Give it to God and He will guide you.

Shoveling the Lawn

Have you ever caught yourself manipulating situations to meet your own personal desire? Sometimes we fall into the manipulation trap without even knowing we’re doing it. Why do we do that and how can we stop?

It’s April and we still have snow on the ground. We not only have residual snow mounds on the ground but they are dirty as well. The snow is no longer that crisp, white, powdery stuff that makes you feel like you want to snuggle by a fire.

No, it’s the ugly, gray, black, brown gloomy kinda snow!                                                                      .20150408_135438

I had an idea. Yesterday it was warm enough to be outside so I went out with determination on my mind and shovel in my hands. I thought I’d go out there and shovel all of that nasty snow. I’d throw it into the driveway or street, then I would have green grass showing faster than anyone on the block. After trying to get a scoop or two, all that transpired was a sore back.  The snow would not budge. It was solid ice. I was very frustrated; I wanted to see green grass.20150408_135445

Why do we try to manipulate situations? We manipulate situations because we don’t want to wait. We don’t want to take the necessary time to just “chill” while waiting on God’s next move for us. We manipulate people because we desire for them to be someone they just are not capable of being. Many of us don’t mean to, but it does happen. We must not manipulate, control or influence for our own advantage.

Have you ever caught yourself saying, “God instructed me.” or “the Lord has told me that…”
These phrases essentially shut down the conversation because they imply that, since God has spoken a word then there can’t possibly be any further discussion. Don’t be fooled by this trick; it is a form of spiritual manipulation.

I opened my Bible and began to read. I went to the familiar story of how Sarai manipulated Hagar and her husband, Abram,in Genesis chapter 16. She desperately desired to carry His child and didn’t want to wait. She told Abram to have sexual relations with Hagar, the servant. Talk about a huge manipulation.When Hagar became pregnant she flaunted it around Sarai. Sarai got jealous and said to Abram, “This is all your fault.” What a mess; all because Sarai wouldn’t wait on God. Been there? I know I have.

There have been times in my past where I have jumped into situations with both feet before even thinking about it or praying about it. During these ignorant times of attempting to manipulate a situation, I even tried to twist scripture for my own personal benefit. We should never manipulate scripture.

For example, an authoritarian husband might demand that his wife submit to him as the head of the house and quote Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands.” But he may overlook verse 26 which instructs, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” We cannot take bits of scripture and manipulate them to what we desire. We need to read the whole text, meditate on it and see how God wants to apply it to our lives.

We can be guided by the Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit gives us a discerning mind to help us distinguish between right and wrong. If you find that you are in a situation and are twisting the facts or words of others, then you are heading down the manipulation road. Call upon His Spirit for help.

Pray for help. Ask God to help you during your situation but don’t even think about trying to manipulate God. Whey you pray you may be trying to sway his mind. Be honest and tell Him how you feel about what’s going on, but always allow his will to be done. Matthew 6:10 “Thy Kingdom Come; Thy Will Be Done.

No matter how horrendous you might be suffering or how awful your situation is, see it for what it is. I looked at the heaping pile of yucky snow, feeling angry and disappointed. I didn’t want to look at it any more but I had to let it go. If I continued on my own manipulative destructive path I would have hurt my back even more.

It’s a very good thing that I didn’t proceed with my decision to shovel the yard because this morning we woke up to three inches of fresh white, crisp, beautiful, snow. It will melt in God’s timing and I’ll see the grass when its time for it to peak out, but until then, I will curl up by the fire and thank God for stopping me from shoveling the lawn.ID-100153371-2

So, are you going to go out and try to fix a situation for your own purpose? Are you in the middle of a dispute where you feel if you could “just get him/her to see it my way.” Manipulation is a very dangerous thing.

Lord, God, we come before you this day asking that we not manipulate any situation or any person. We trust You to make all things right in your perfect timing. Amen.

Come and join me as I host the discussion on Living by Grace.livingbygracepic.jp

 

 

The Core of the Communication Chain

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Do you have a hard time communicating? Communicating can be difficult for me at times, especially when I know it’s going to involve being confrontational. I don’t want to hurt anyone.

As a care-giver of a man who has Alzheimer’s Disease, I am the core of the communication chain. I have to be willing to be a three-way-communicator. I have to be able to communicate with my client on his level of understanding. I have to be able to communicate with his companion on her level of acceptance of his disease, and I have to be able to communicate with his children on their level of trust. It is not easy to juggle three ways of communication on a daily basis.

April 27th, is “National Morse Code Day” and In 1836, Samuel Morse demonstrated the ability of a telegraph system to transmit information over wires. With the advent of radio communications, an international version of Morse code became widely used. This was also a way of communicating the well known SOS distress signal.

What are the ways in which we communicate when we might be distressed? We email, text, instant message, Facebook message, Twitter, call and go face to face. How do I keep my communication skills in tact when I am stressed over a situation? I try to remember to ask God for wisdom.ID-100157377                                                                                     Before communicating something very important or possibly confrontational; I pray and meditate over the situation. I ask God for wisdom to speak kindly. Proverbs 15:1

I know each one of my children communicate differently. My son, prefers to talk on the phone with me.He does not like to text. So, when he calls, I try my hardest to answer. When I can’t, I send him a text asking, “Is everything okay?” Why do I do that? He’s not going to answer me. I clear my schedule so that I can get a quiet moment to call him back; then we can have a quality conversation. Psalm 19:14

My oldest daughter prefers texts. She’s a wife and a mom. She works full-time. She’s going to school part-time and she rarely has the opportunity to have phone conversations. I appreciate her little, “Thinking about you mom” texts and she laughs at my silly, “love you” texts. I know better than to try to call her to have a lengthy conversation. It’s just does not work for her right now. I wait for her to call me. Proverbs 16:23

My youngest daughter is a little of both worlds. She calls me on her way home from work. If I answer, super!  If I don’t, we are fine with a text later in the evening. Jeremiah 1:9

We are living in frustrating times where communication is not at its best. God says to us to call on Him for help. Psalm 50:15, “And call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.” No matter what method we use, it is very important we call on Him first. We are busy people who don’t always have the time to communicate. God desires that we be utterly dependent upon Him for everything, so why not ask him for wisdom and help when we need to communicate? God is our Father and we are his children. Children can-not make it in this world without their parents. They rely on us to communicate with them about everything in life. How much more so then, can we make it without the help of our Heavenly Father?Let me end with John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

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How do you communicate? Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had to ask God for wisdom before calling someone? Is there someone right now that needs to hear from you?

Share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you as I am hosting this discussion on livingbygrace.livingbygracepic-jp

A-Wide-Open-Wallet-Kinda-Trust

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Only in Bingham, Maine, can you leave your wallet wide open while making the rounds visiting with friends throughout the diner. How does one possess that much trust? Do you trust others like that?

As I was coming out of the bathroom and making my way back to our table there it was, my mom’s wallet,flopped wide open on the table. I looked at the other end of the diner and saw how she was laughing with old high school friends without a care in the world. I quickly grabbed her wallet and put it into her purse, which was also left unattended on the bench.

20150329_123435Finally reaching my mom I scolded, “Mom, you left your wallet wide open on the table.” She replied, “Oh its fine; you can trust everyone in here.”

Trust is knowing the person that we have hired for the job, will do the job right. Trust is knowing that our elderly parents are being taken care of by a compassionate care-giver. Trust is knowing we can rely on the other person to do what they said they will do.

When we trust someone, we believe in their integrity and rely on their character.
We depend on them.

Because of circumstances in my own life, my trust has been jostled around. I tend to have some issues with a person’s integrity because I’ve been let down and betrayed. But there is one person I can put my open-wallet trust in, and that is God!

How can we learn to trust God with everything?ID-10083723

In order to trust God, we must seek Him first. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We should not merely seek His blessings, but seek Him, there we will find our answers and rewards. 1 Chronicles 16:11

When seeking God, it is always recommended that we begin by reading the Bible. It is the best way to get to know this God that we can trust. The Bible is considered to be His life’s story; the story of grace and redemption through Jesus Christ.  The Bible is also our roadmap to life. Hebrews 9:12

The most important way to learn how to know and trust God is to pray. Getting to know someone takes a lot of time and persistence. The same goes for getting to know the Creator of our Universe; God.  Spending time in meditative prayer should be practiced privately and consistently. You can also take your prayer time a step further and get down on your knees, in total submission. I’ve fallen onto my knees plenty of times in submission with tears rolling down my face. It has always humbled me to get before Him that way. Ephesians 6:18

You may be saying, “All of these suggestions sound really good, but I have never understood what it means to trust God.” Trusting in God means that you’re not relying upon yourself, but on someone higher and greater than yourself. You’re giving the power of your own life over to Someone who unconditionally loves you. Psalm 36:5-7

The wallet was fine! Everything was safe and the people were indeed trusted. We too are fine and safe when we trust in God.

Will you put your trust in Him?

 

Finding the Right Writers Group for You

Tips for Finding the Right Writers Group for You

Writers need writers! We need to share our ideas over our hot cup of coffee or tea. What do we do when we do not have the help and support of other writers? Where can we find a good writers group?

When I moved, I had to leave my old writers group. It was difficult for me because I trusted them with my poorly written articles. I could trust them to be gentle with me as I was with them.

We not only drooled over each others’ words, but we shared personal journeys as well. We became a writing family.

A writers group is so much more than sharing ideas and critiquing each other’s work. A close writers group is where a writer and author can engage in honest critical feedback. A writers group is a source of support and encouragement. Every writer knows that in the beginning of his or her writing journey, there are more rejections than acceptances. We need like-minded people to hold us up when we have been rejected over and over, as well as, rejoice with us when we’ve sold an article or even signed a book contract.

I lack this connection. I lack the help of other writers, but more importantly, I miss the support and friendship of other writers. When we join forces with other writers, we talk a language that no one else can understand. We talk plots, stories, punctuation, spelling, grammar, characters, rhymes, publishers, editors and research.frog-with-a-question-hi

Will any ‘ole group do?
Should we join any ‘ole writers group?
Should we be picky?
Are all writers groups the same?

I began the hunt for my perfect group. Being so new to this very small town, I searched and searched until I finally found one. It was a mixed age of female writers who meet right at the library in town and the time slot was perfect.

However, when I went to the first meeting, I found out that I had to apply on line and submit some writing samples. They would vote as a group if I was to be accepted or not. There were annual dues to pay as well. Because I was desperate, I followed their instructions. I hurried home, submitted two of my previously published articles,  only to have a rejection in my “in” box the next day. I was not accepted into their group. I was crushed.

This experience made me take a step back and really think about what I was looking for in a writers group. Did I just want a group of warm bodies or did I want more than that?

Ideas for when looking for a writers group.
How can we find a writers group that’s going to meet our needs? While continuing my search of that perfect writers group, I spent some time pondering what I needed and wanted. Here are some of my ideas:

• If you are a mystery writer, joining a research writers group is not a fit.
• If you are a non-fiction writer, joining a romance writers group is not a fit.
• If you are a poetry writer, a science fiction writers group would not work.
• Do you want to pay dues? Some groups charge.
• Do you want to be interviewed to join? Some have a certain criteria in order to join.
• Do you want men and women present?
• Do you want to be with young or old writers or a variety of age?

I was so excited to be with warm bodies that I thought they shared the same drive to write. I was wrong. You see, I have been commissioned to write to encourage people. This group was a local, liberal, female, historical writers group. I am sure they are a wonderful group of ladies and have written some fabulous material; but the door was shut and not only shut by them but by God as well.

So, I got to thinking, maybe I should start my own group?

When a writers group does not fit and you are tired of searching,  have you considered starting your own group?

Where would you begin? Here again are some of my tips to consider.

• Try to advertise. Put flyers around town or a short ad in the local paper. You also, can post on social media including Craig’s List. Maybe you can put up flyers at your church if you want a Christian writers group?
• Where to meet? Why not at a local coffee shop? Local coffee shops love your business and are usually pretty open to having your group use their facility. Maybe you can try your church? I’ve worked in a library for years that hosted writers groups, so why not contact your local public library?
• Goals: Don’t forget to write the goals of the group you want to start. My perfect group would  consist of Christian and or spiritual authors that would want to meet one day a week for an hour or two. In my perfect group,  I would not charge any dues but would set guidelines. My guidelines would be simple. Do not steal the ideas of other members and be kind in criticizing.

Right now, I continue to write from my little counter-top and continue to search for writers groups. I am praying about starting my own as well. I am not sure of the direction I will go, but one thing I do know, the local, liberal warm body group was not a fit for me.

How about you? Do you belong to a writers group? If so, did you have any expectations? Hope over to Edie Melson’s Blog:thewriteconversation@blogspot.com if you’ve like to tweet your response or read how other’s have commented.

Fluctuating Frost Heaves

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Do your emotions fluctuate? Do you strive to maintain your composure during sticky situations and yet, crack under the pressure?  I learned a valuable lesson in learning about Frost Heaves.

I was out for a drive when I saw an orange warning sign on the side of the road that read, “Frost Heaves.” I didn’t think much about it until I was right up on a tremendous protruding pot hole. BAM!!!

My head almost hit the roof of my car.FrostHeaveI had hit a frost heave!

Frost heaves are the result of pressure created from a combination of freezing temperatures and soil defrosting. The fluctuating freezing and thawing conditions heave, or lift, the soil, which is often characterized by deep cracking of not only the soil but the roads as well.The frost heaves are much worse this spring because of the harsh winter we have experienced. Todays normal thirty minute destination took me almost an hour. Why? The heaves were colossal, unpredictable and dangerous.

This experience got me to thinking about my fluctuating emotions during the unpredictable  seasons of my  life. My emotions can be very unpredictable and dangerous. I can crack under pressure and allow my mouth to spew things I really don’t mean to say. Do you do that? Do you reach a breaking point? If so, what do you do?

When I reach my breaking point, I need to take some deep breaths, slow myself down and focus on God.

During this dangerous road condition season, the State puts up as many warning signs to remind drivers to slow down, especially at night because its hard to see the pot holes.

What can we adhere to during our rough-weather seasons?Question

  • Remember we have a solid foundation named God. He can be trusted always. Psalm 9:9
  • Be aware of our surroundings. Don’t be in places with negative energy, and negative people. 1 Corinthians 15:33
  • Stay grounded in prayer. Pray without ceasing. 1 Thessalonians 5:13

Although we will always travel bumpy roads, and feel like we are being jolted and jarred, we can be reminded that, “This too shall pass.” God has a purpose for everything in every season of life.( Ecclesiastes 3:1)After spring, the Maine roadways will settle down, summer will come leaving us with smooth terrain again.

Have you ever heard of frost heaves? Have you ever thought about your life in different seasons? What do you do when you feel like you are in a turbulent season? Come and join us as I lead the discussion on living by grace. Thanks for stopping in.livingbygracepic.jp

Why do we Need Jesus?

Why Do We Need Jesus:Days of Purpose – by Karen Pourbabaee

http://www.faithwriters.com/devotional.html

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It’s an awe-filled moment contemplating such a word from You, Lord. When You thought about me, even before I was born, You knew my exact purpose. Why I was needed in this world. You planned how many days it would take me to live out my purpose. And You wrote it all down!

Lord, Your thoughts fill me with wonder …

Then You knit me together in my mother’s womb with marvelous workmanship. You designed me just perfectly to fulfill Your plan. You created in me all that was necessary for a life of meaning and fulfillment.ID-100277541

“The Lord created everything for His own purpose…” (Proverbs 16:4)

Lord, I seek Your purpose…

I wait to hear Your purpose for my day. If You planned each day, recording it in Your book, it’s an important day. Every day links together as the pages of the book are turned, creating a life that is pleasing to You. A life that honors Your intention.

Lord, speak, I am listening…

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately…” (Ephesians 5;15 Amplified Bible)

Lord, let me live days of purpose. Amen.

Karen is a Christian writer who uses God’s word to heal. Find more of her writing at http://www.faithwriters.com.

Karen is a south Louisiana native currently living in Oklahoma. As a retired nurse with a lifelong yen to write, she continues her mission in Proverbs 13:17 “A faithful envoy brings healing”, in her written works. A Faithwriters member since 2009, Karen has published award-winning short stories and devotionals in various venues.

Sabbath or Nap?

Is honoring the Sabbath Day just a church thing? Is it a family day thing? Do we just honor it on Saturday or Sunday? Some think Sabbath time is nap time. What do you think?

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While growing up, especially during Lent, every Friday around 4:00 we were instructed to come in from playing to reflect on all that God had done for us. It was a time of rest and meditation. As a child, this was torture. I wanted to be outside frolicking with my friends. But, now, I look back on that time and cherish the memory that my mom instilled in me. Take time to rest and be thankful to God for all that I have.ID-100260588

Now that I’m into my 50’s, I regretfully admit that I am not always consistent with the concept of keeping the Sabbath holy.  How about you? Are you forgetting to keep the Sabbath holy? Do you forget to reflect?

Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy. Exodus 20:8

The Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20:8-11 teaches us four things:

  • How are we commanded to keep it? Holy
  • When are we commanded to keep it? 7th Day
  • How are we commanded to keep it? Resting and reflecting.
  • And why? To reflect on God’s goodness and blessings.

If we work all week long, cram in house work around our office hours, and try to schedule in activities either for ourselves, spouse or children, how much time do we have left for the Sabbath? Question

It is impossible for me to take a whole day off from my job as I am a live-in care giver 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. I have a very special friend that I take care of. He has Alzheimer’s and he and his family depend on me. I am very fond of him and enjoy working for him, but, if I don’t find time in my day for a mini-Sabbath, I will end up be filled with resentment, anger and darkness.

So how do I honor the Sabbath?

Almost every day, I slip upstairs for a short span of time, sit before His feet, reflect and journal. I cease all working and reflect on God’s goodness. It is never at the same time nor for the same length of time, but when the opportunity arises, I drop everything and seize the moment.   DogMeditation

God commanded that the seventh day be observed as the Sabbath. A glance at almost any dictionary or encyclopedia will show you that Saturday is the seventh day of the week, while Sunday is the first day of the week.  The seventh day according to God’s calendar is—and always has been—the Sabbath day. Although we have modified calendars through the centuries, the seven-day weekly cycle has remained intact throughout history. The days of the week have always remained in their proper order, with Sunday as the first day of the week and Saturday as the seventh. So, does this mean that you can’t observe the Sabbath any other day or even take a mini Sabbath? God wants our  attention and dedication any time we can give it.

Psalms 8:3-5- “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, {4} What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? {5} For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.”

Sabbath is about attitude.

Deuteronomy 6:5- “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”

Does God want us to dread the Sabbath? No! He wants it to be a blessing. But if we don’t have a love relationship with Jesus, we’ll be watching the clock. When the Sabbath approaches, we’ll be thinking, “Oh, heavens! I’ve got all this stuff to do. Is it Sabbath already? Now I don’t have time to do it.” That’s not the attitude God wants us to have. It’s as if the Sabbath is a burden rather than a blessing. It means we need a change in our hearts and attitudes.

I believe that it is the Devil’s plan to erode us with convictions regarding how we honor the Sabbath. He would much rather trip us up on the details on how, when and why so that we falter from spending ANY quality quiet time with Him.

God said, there is holy time. What did He mean? The word “holy” means something “dedicated, set apart, or consecrated to God.” And it’s clear from the Bible that some things are holy and should not be profaned or treated as common. Our Sabbath time with God should not be treated as common time. 

What does my Sabbath time mean to me?

My Sabbath time is a time of delighting and rejoicing in God.
My Sabbath time is a time for meditating on a scripture or two.
My Sabbath time is a time for asking for forgiveness.
My Sabbath time is a time of prayer.
My Sabbath time is a time of healing.
My Sabbath time is a time of resting in His love.

What does your Sabbath time look like? I would love to hear from you as I am hosting the discussion on Living by Grace; a Facebook community.livingbygracepic.jp

I keep my Sabbath time in perspective, when I don’t get all bogged down with the “do’s and don’ts.” I try very hard to practice the Sabbath commandment regularly so that the Spirit of the Sabbath commandment is genuine, holy and sanctified.