Thursday, January 31, 2013

Words

Remember that saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"  The truth is words can hurt.  They can tear right through the very fiber of your soul.  Sometimes its not even the words that hurt but the context in which they are said. This morning, I crafted a quick, smart reply on instant message to something that struck a cord with me.  Finger ready to hit "send," conviction hit me like a sword in my chest.  Words, they do hurt.  

Deuteronomy 2:2-3
Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

These words in Deuteronomy speak of the words of God, how they should fall gently and be nourishing to the soul.  Our words should be too.

Not only do we need to guard our tongues from the harmful words we say, we need to make more opportunities to provide enriching and encouraging words that build a person up.


That child who needs to hear, "I'm proud of you."
That husband that needs to hear, "You take good care of me."
That mother that needs to hear, "Thank you for all you have done."
That friend who needs to hear, "I am here for you."

We miss so many golden opportunities to use our words as a building tool.  We allow complacency to keep us from saying things to those with whom we are close.  We miss even more opportunities to just be a light in this world to a stranger we may meet in line at the supermarket, a cashier at a store, a coworker, or the person next to you in the pew on Sunday. 

I'm accepting the challenge today to find someone each day and make it a point to say something to encourage them.  I'm asking you to accept that challenge with me.  In a world where its so hard to see the good things of this world, we can be lights in the darkness to those around us.

My friends, have a blessed week! 



 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A True Friend

There may be a lonely valley, waiting just around the bend.
Many trials will come, before I reach my journey’s end.
But through them I’ll be faithful, as I walk in victory.
Pressing toward to the moment when my father says to me:

Well done my child, your race is over
You have fought the fight, and you’ve kept the faith
Enter in to the joy of the Lord.
Well done my child, you crown is waiting.
Here is your robe of white, your mansion is just inside.
Come in to the city of the light, well done my child…


When I finally see the streets of Gold and the gates of pearl.
I know that I’ll forget my every struggle in this world.
Every pain and heartache will quickly fade away.
In that glorious moment when, I hear my Savior say:

Well done my child, your race is over
You have fought the fight, and you’ve kept the faith
Enter in to the joy of the Lord.
Well done my child, you crown is waiting.
Here is your robe of white, your mansion is just inside.
Come in to the city of the light, well done my child…


This is one of my favorite songs.  My husband sang it several years ago with our church choir.  I caught myself humming it earlier today before I got the news of a special friend who unexpectedly went home to be with Jesus today.  How quickly our life passes!  It seems like yesterday she was watching my husband and I as we took our vows (almost 17 years ago) and was there for the birth of my children. 

It really hurts.  I'm praying hard for her husband and sons, mother, sister and other family and friends who must now learn to let go.

I met my friend as a wide eyed college graduate.   God placed her in my life to be someone to mentor me as I made the leap into a new town, a new job, a new marriage and becoming a new mother.    She was a compassionate person, and she had a servant's heart.  I know today as she stands ready to meet her savior, she will be hearing the words "well done, my child."

Her leaving heightens the realization our lives are but a vapor, and in this great big world, we have such a short window to leave our legacy.  How many times have I said lately, I need to make time for...and have let it pass by?  My friends, there may not be a tomorrow. 

Once again a blog post I wasn't prepared to write, but with such a powerful message:

Don't take things for granted, and don't put things off until tomorrow.  God does not promise any of us another breath. 
Don't let that realization be a scary thing.  For those who have accepted Christ as their personal savior, the promise of heaven eternal is an anticipated gift.
Make every moment count.  Psalm 90:12 NIV says Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.

Thank you my dear friend for the impact you made on my life, and the lives of others.  I rejoice knowing you had secured a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that I will see you again in eternity.

If you don't have the assurance of salvation, I would be happy to talk with you about how you can be saved. 

God made you with a purpose.  What kind of legacy will you leave? Today is the day to become that person.



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Encouraging One Another

Its been one of those weeks.  The weather has been terrible, and I just have a bad case of the blahs.  The mountains before me this week seem a little taller, and a lot more intimidating.  I have struggled to write, but I made a commitment. 

So this morning, I sat down in front of my computer and prayed again for a message to share.  After reading another passage and praying for guidance, it still wasn't coming.  I decided to scan through facebook for a few minutes to clear my mind.

 In my news feed was a verse:

Psalm 66:5 NLT 
Come and see what our God has done, what awesome miracles He performs for people!

And below the continuing story of a family and the provision of God after a serious car accident:
https://www.facebook.com/UnwrappingHisGrace


Part of our responsibility as Christians is to encourage one another.  Every one of us has a story of God's amazing provision in our lives.  Today, I want you to help me write the rest of my story.  Share in the comments something God has done for you in your life that shows his awesomeness. Big and small, share them all.

I can't wait to read your stories.  Ready, set go!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mixing It Up


I'm in love with a mixer.  Yes, its the Empire Red KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer.  An avid cook, kitchen appliances and utensils rank on my wish list.  I've been drooling over her for quite some time.

See this beauty?  She's my Sunbeam.  Purchased from a neighbor after his wife passed away from cancer, she is my first stand mixer.  She has a heavy duty motor, dough hook, and she mixes a mean batch of chocolate icing.  The kind that leaves your average hand mixer smokin'.

In all honesty, the KitchenAid Artisan mixer is a shiny newer version of what I already have. 

My Sunbeam has created many memories in our home...birthday cakes, goodies for friends and family, and most importantly the opportunity for me and my children to spend time together.

I didn't get to know my neighbor that well, she passed not too long after we moved here.  But I am sure the mixer made plenty of memories in her house too.  I understand she loved to cook like I do.

This week, God chose my Sunbeam to inspire my message.

I am turning 40 this year.  There are plenty of days I'm starting to feel less like the KitchenAid and more like my Sunbeam; not nearly as shiny, a little out of date on my technology and worn from plenty of use.  Its not a feeling of being old, but more of a realization of a greater purpose.

Titus 2:3-5 NIV
3 In the same way, older women are to be reverent in behavior. They are to teach what is good, 4 so they may encourage the young women to love their husbands and to love their children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, homemakers, kind, and submissive to their husbands, so that God’s message will not be slandered.

I can think proudly on many women who have made a significant impact on my life and continue to do so every day.  They are prayer warriors, dedicated wives and loving mothers.  They are examples I have followed and ladies of which I have asked advice.  They are a little worn too from life, but oh, the stories they can pass along.

While making a simple batch of cookies with my Sunbeam, I realized I have become one of those women.  Now its my turn to not only look up to those who have more experience and have stood the test of time, but to turn around and to be an example for those coming behind me.

The realization others are watching and learning not only creates an exciting opportunity, but a challange to make sure we walk the walk.  Our actions not only affect ourselves, but those who may be following our example.

Red and shiny she may not be, but that Sunbeam is still making tons of tasty treats.  From the looks of this blog, its also creating a stronger and better woman.  Maybe I'm not as ready for that new mixer as I thought I was.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year



Happy New Year!  Its a chance for people all across the world to reflect on the past year and to create "resolutions" for the one upcoming.  First of all, let me say thank you.  During the past year "The Plan I Have For You" has grown in readership and has now been viewed by almost 3,200 people in 10 countries.  I am humbled.  I never would have dreamed the desire God laid on my heart to use my love for writing as a ministry tool would reach such a broad audience. 

Today in my quiet time, I found these verses:

1 Timothy 4:14-16
14 Do not neglect the gift that is in you; it was given to you through prophecy, with the laying on of hands by the council of elders. 15 Practice these things; be committed to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. 16 Pay close attention to your life and your teaching; persevere in these things, for by doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers.


Until now, my blog has been something I've committed to as a hobby...sharing when God gave me a message AND when I could squeeze a few spare moments between other projects to write these messages down.  Its very rewarding to hear the comments of those who have stopped by and been encouraged by something I shared. 

As I read 1 Timothy today, I found my resolution, or as I prefer to call it, my "challenge" for 2013 (the competitive soul inside needs motivation).  Blogging is not a just my hobby, its a calling.  Its my duty to search the word harder for the messages God wants me to share instead of waiting until I run across one.  Blogging is a gift he has called me to use, and as verse 15 says, to be committed to doing.

Committing to blogging regularly means also opening myself up as an example. Expect success stories, expect failures.  I am far from perfect.  But I am definitely forgiven.  There is my greatest message.

So expect to see a lot more of me here in 2013.   Please continue to share your comments, they mean so much!  Share my page with someone you know who might need a pick me up.  Feel free to message me with your prayer requests, publicly or privately.  Pray God continues to provide direction for this opportunity to grow and to touch more lives. 

I thank God for each of you and what you mean to me.  Happy 2013.

What is your God-given "talent" he's asking you to use this year? Accept the challenge.
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