Make 2019 Your Best Year Yet!

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

photo by Paul M at unsplash.com

Do you want 2019 to be your best year yet? I sure do! And I know of one sure fire way to make it the best ever. Want to know my secret?

Here it is…

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, Ephesians 5:20

Oh I could go into all the goal setting advice (which I’ve done in an earlier post), but the truth of the matter is to live gratefully giving thanks for all the things God has done for you! Like what you may ask?

I recently heard a story of this very thing. I’m not sure who the author of it is, so if you know, let me know.

Anyway, someone was telling a friend that he/she had nothing to be thankful for. The friend said, “I’m so sorry to hear of your mom’s illness.” The person replied that his mother was not ill. The friend said, “Well, that’s good!…I’m so sorry that you lost your job.” The person answered that they had not lost their job. The friend said, “That’s great! I’m sorry your car broke down.” Exasperated, they replied that their car had not broken down. The friend smiled and patted the person’s shoulder and said, “Then I guess you have a lot for which to be thankful!

We know the moral of that story is that all of us really do have so much for which to be thankful! Even in what seems to be the worst of times, we still have so much for which to be grateful. God blesses us all the time, but we often take His blessing for granted.

Truth be told, if God did nothing - NO THING! - for us except save us we have more than enough for which to be thankful and grateful for the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t you agree? Yet, we often lose track of that and fail to see just what we do have.

So this year, 2019, I am challenging you to write 1 thing down every single day that you are grateful for. If you can’t think of anything, here are just a few that you can repeat if needed:

  • Salvation

  • life

  • breath

  • family

  • friends

Grab a jar from around the house and put slips of paper by it. EVERY DAY add one slip of paper into it that lists just one thing for which you are thankful. You’ll be amazed!

Comment below of things you are thankful for and /or ways you express your gratitude!

Be Your Own Kind of Remarkable

photo by anatol lem

photo by anatol lem

Remarkable – worthy of attention; striking

We all know remarkable people.  We call them remarkable based on an attribute of their character, such as kindness toward others or their love for the Lord. 

But so many people want to fit into what the world defines as worthy of attention.  Maybe that’s to look a certain way, or be a certain way or have certain things.  But what Christian wants to be like the world?  After all, Jesus taught us that we are not of this world, even though we are in it.

 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.                 John 17:14-16 ESV

  What does that mean?  Well, to be in the world is to be in the place of the world but to be of the world is to be defined by it. For example, I used to work in a hospital. Therefore, I would be in the hospital.  But I was never of the hospital; the hospital was not who I was.  

It took me a long time to realize that God truly did create each of us as unique and remarkable human beings in His image. Certainly, we can all agree that we know that, but do we really live like we know that? I dare say most of us do not.

I was saved at twelve years of age and I certainly had a different worldview than I do now.  Even though I surrendered myself to Jesus, I was pulled toward the things of the world.  I wanted to be popular and successful, to name a few.  And in my younger days, I certainly thought I knew a lot about Jesus and the Bible.

Now that I have matured as a believer and follower of Christ, I find my desires and worldview have changed.  I’ve learned that I only need to please ONE.  I’ve learned that obedience to my Saviour and Lord is the definition of success, not what others think of me.

 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14 ESV

 The psalmist wrote the scripture above.  I want to encourage you by reminding you that you are fearfully and wonderfully made.  Now’s the time your soul knows that very well.

Today, focus on who you are in Jesus Christ.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made.  God’s works are wonderful and you, my friend, are one of His works.  He doesn’t expect you to be sinless, Jesus took care of that on the cross.  He expects us to sin less as we walk with Him.

This Christmas and ever day, feel your freedom in Jesus!  Let yourself be your own kind of remarkable!

Share in the comments someone you know that is remarkable and why!

-Wendy

Self-control - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 10

episode 10.jpg
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5: 22-23

Self-control

I shudder at the thought! Sometimes I think I have a lot of self-control, but then I lose it! Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has it and is developing it in me. I’m so grateful the Lord has patience with me (us, mankind).

I have often told classes that I’ve taught you know when the Holy Spirit is truly controlling me - my mouth stays shut! Now, folks I’ve taught leave a meeting or class with me and will laugh and say, “Ms. Wendy, the Holy Spirit was controlling you!” He’s still working on my face! But face or no face, words not said is great! You can’t take those back.

On a more serious note, self-control is definitely a character of the fruit of the Spirit. As the Lord matures us in the faith, He lovingly teaches us about love and grace. First of all, He lavished His love and His grace on us in salvation. But it doesn’t stop there! Day by day, He conforms us into HIs image. Throughout life as we are conformed, we are seasoned with love and grace.

The more we understand about God’s great love for us, the more we can practice self-control. So many things are just not worth an argument. Through the Holy Spirit we have power, love and self-control.

for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Our pastor recently preached on wisdom and how with wisdom we learn to let a lot of offenses and irritations go. Relying on God’s love and wisdom, we practice self-control.

I’m certainly not a pro at practicing self-control, but thanks be to God I am better than I used to be. This week, let’s seek God’s love, grace and self-control!

Faithfulness - Fruit of the Spirit Episode 8

episode 8.jpg
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
— Galatians 5:22-23

Aren’t you so glad our God is FAITHFUL? I am! I am currently in a Bible study and each week the first question of our lesson is “How have you seen God at work in your life this week?” Let me tell you, every single week I am reminded of God’s faithfulness.

I remember when we built our house I wanted the underneath of my cabinets stained. My husband told me then I could stain them. In the heat of the moment, I said I would. Well then he went off to work and I set about staining the underneath of my cabinets.

Let me tell you in about 30 seconds I wanted to quit that and let the cabinets be. My arms were on fire. But stain I did. When he got home the first thing out of my mouth to him was, “Aren’t you proud of me? I stained all of the underneath of the cabinets!”

He looked at me funny and said, “Well, you said you would.”

Right then I was reminded what it means to be faithful. People take you at your word. I said I would stain the cabinets and he counted it as done. Yes, I finally told him how bad it hurt and how much I wanted to quit. He just laughed with me because he knew how bad it would hurt being in an awkward position for that long.

I wish I could say that I’m always faithful, but we both know we are not always faithful. There are those times we say something that doesn’t mean much to us but it means a lot to the person we are talking to'; thus, they count on us and we don’t remember to follow through. Hopefully, that’s not the norm for any of us, but my point is I am not always faithful. But my Jesus is!

I’m so glad Jesus put the Holy Spirit in us as His deposit or guarantee that we are His, that He is coming back for us, that we will be conformed into His image, that we are never alone and on and on. As the Holy Spirit leads us to maturity He is developing the attribute of faithfulness in us.

What are some things we should be faithful in?

  • Our love for Christ - to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength

  • Our serving others - by serving others we are serving Jesus Christ

  • In our marriage - by being loving and faithful to our spouse we are presenting a picture of God and His bride

  • In honesty and integrity - letting our yes be yes and our no be no people know they can trust what we say; doing what’s right because it’s right

    and the list goes on.

We should be faithful because God is faithful.

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9

So I have a question for you, “How have you seen God at work in your life this week?”