Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Embracing the Good ( By: Patsy Clairmont...Repost from Women of Faith)

After going through some tough times myself I read this in my email this morning and thought that I would share.....Love, Roschelle

Endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. — 2 Timothy 2:3, 7

It isn’t natural to look for good in bad. It’s far more human, when bad rears its ugly head, to gaze upon it stymied. But when we believe that God designs and redesigns all things for our good, even when the intent of others is for our demise, it allows us to let them off the hook and look up. Our task is to detect and embrace the good, which means we will have to be alert and discerning if we are to benefit from the windbreaker of gratitude.

I’m not thankful when my heart is broken, yet I’m grateful that through internal ruptures comes a deeper compassion for others who grieve. I had no idea how unaware and indifferent I was toward the agony of others until I suffered through a season of intense winds and came out of that time with enhanced sensitivity. It wasn’t that I hadn’t cared about others; I just didn’t have a clue what their struggles were costing them until hardships exacted a high price from me.

Someone once said, “We can only know joy to the degree we have known pain.” Hardships have the potential of carving out greater space for God’s grace within us. And grace helps us to live with life’s inequities without the disabling residuals of anger, bitterness, and disillusionment.

— Patsy Clairmont

Saturday, November 27, 2010

What's Your Motivation?

So I'm re-evaluating my approach....on everything.  Have we ever found ourselves in a place where we thought that we were handling everything to the best of our abilities the CORRECT way? Of course we have....we plan everything out, we do our own risk assessment of the situation and figure out how to make a situation work out to the best of our advantage without overstepping anyone or trampling on anyone needlessly.  But then wait, out of nowhere we are faced with something that completely stops us in our tracks and makes us think again. One little gust of wind is all it takes to blow down our house of cards...We try so hard to salvage what is left and it's like when we try to salvage anything, the pieces left just seem to internally combust in our face.  We cry, we pout, we scream, we feel hopeless......but we know we need to keep moving...to stop is to give up.  We may need to take breaks to cry, wipe our noses, pray, but we keep moving.

In finding what God's will is in our lives we may feel like we lose our way, get sidetracked and have blockades in our way from those who do not want us to be successful. I find myself getting burned out sometimes from doing things....not because I don't enjoy them, but maybe because I DO enjoy them, but for the wrong reasons.  When I'm not living in a way to help others and become selfish, things get stale....I run out of energy, I'm grouchy, grumpy....whatever.  Now I'm not saying for everyone to call, text, email or contact me otherwise to see what kind of creation I can do for them (lol), but I'm saying that as long as I keep everything in the right perspective then I have less occasions of my house of cards falling in on me.

I make sure to have my priorities right and have balance in my life....I remember to pray, take care of my family's needs, read my Bible, be good at my occupation, attend church, be a great friend, keep my morals and beliefs, have hobbies that are beneficial to someone even if the greatest impact is not on myself, etc.  I've seen that when my motivation is not right, then I'm not successful.  When the deck of cards is bent and the cards are damaged from continuous use and not taken care of properly then they will set you up with a shoddy foundation.  But when the motivation is correct (a fresh stack) then you can have great results.  Remember this: When we become self-centered, the undesired results will also be centered back to us...

Friday, November 5, 2010

How Fat is Your Character?

Now before you think "What in the world?", reread the title: How Fat is Your CHARACTER.  This past week I was thinking this: The good that people ASSUME about us should never outweigh the TRUE WEIGHT of our character. (I know I am guilty of this myself, so please do not think that I am pointing fingers.) 

When you look back in history or just look at certain groups and civilizations, being fat is a sign of being wealthy. (I'm not not talking about gluttony, that's a whole separate subject.) There's enough food to eat, there's no thought of starving...the people are plump.  We should be the same way with our character.  If we one of God's children then we have more than enough to eat and there is never the thought of an upcoming famine. 

God equips us with so many things: gifts, talents, fruit of the Spirit and the armor of God.  We should be learning as much as we can and gaining weight in our character to the point that it is overweight....but then again, your character can never be overweight, but it can certainly be underweight.  When we neglect our bible reading, study time, fellowship with other believers and such, our character "body" becomes lean, trim and is soon withering...but if we are putting up a good front, we will continue to have other people assume things about our character.  Our character is shaped by the choices we make. When we have the chance to make the right decision we are taking the initiative to positively influence our character. So many times we let what other people assume about us precede what is the truth about us.  Whether it be good OR bad, we let other people's opinions and not GOD shape our character.  We should always strive to live for God and to do what He has for us and not coast on the cloud of praise. 

When God is shaping and molding us, it will hurt and we may go through some much needed pruning but that is the cost. While God is putting us in situations that are building up our character, He is adding that heavy weight that will stick to us.....compare a light salad with a grilled chicken fillet to a home-cooked meal of greens, cornbread, smothered steak, mashed poptatoes with gravy, corn and your favorite dessert.....which meal will stick with you????