Happy Fourth of July

I hope you have a happy and safe Fourth of July! As I write this morning, it seems that as a country, we are in yet another season where we need to be able to endure and overcome some difficult times. We are in a season where more than ever we need to look to God and let Him lead us, guide us and help us so that we may persevere, as individuals and as a nation. Our nation proudly proclaims the ideals that “all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” And while those ideals are expressed by our nation, they are not always experienced in our nation. My hope and my prayer for our country is that each of us will look to God and the precepts of His word so that we can do a better job of proclaiming and practicing these ideals. My hope and my prayer is that everyone would embrace and experience the truth that all men are indeed created equal and endowed by their Creator with the God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. May God bless America.

Posted in Christianity, Created Equal, faith, Faith during hard times, Fourth of July, God will help you, God will lead you, Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flowers and Butterflies

Lord, we see Your beauty in flowers and butterflies
And we love all the colors,
Why can’t we use these same eyes
To see Your beauty in others?

We see distinctions and differences
And we let them divide us,
We forget that the same kind of heart
Beats inside us.

We’ve all been made in Your image
Each one is a gift from above,
Lord, give us Your perspective,
Lord, teach us to love.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Controlling our words, faith, God, God's Love, Love your brother, Loving Others, Poem, poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Be A Living Sacrifice – Be Transformed

Romans chapter 12 is one of favorite chapters in the Bible.  I have always considered it to be one of those chapters that starts off strong, stays strong and finishes strong.  Come to think of it, that’s the exhortation Paul seems to be giving to the Church.  Start strong.  Stay strong.  Finish strong.  The chapter opens with Paul exhorting the Church to present themselves as a living and holy sacrifice to the Lord.  Paul says that living in such a way is the reasonable thing for Christians to do.  We are urged to give ourselves wholeheartedly to the One who gave His all for us.  Paul then speaks of our need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind” so that we can do those things that are good and acceptable and lined up with God’s will, things that honor the Lord.  In the ensuing verses, Paul paints a picture of what that kind of life looks like.  He speaks of serving one another, loving one another, rejoicing with one another, weeping with one another and seeking to bless one another.  We are even to bless those who persecute us!   We are never to pay back evil with evil.  We are to do our best to be at peace with all men.  We are to feed and care for enemies.  We are to overcome evil with good.

Wow!  No wonder Paul speaks of sacrificing ourselves.  To live that kind of life we have to sacrifice some of our natural reactions.  We have to sacrifice our own selfish interests.  We have to sacrifice our own will and our own desires and intentionally give preference to others.  We have to sacrifice our desire to get even.  We have to sacrifice our desire to hit back.  We have to sacrifice our desire to do so many things that do not honor God.  No wonder Paul speaks of the need we have to renew our mind.  We can’t live a life that is holy and set apart for God through our own natural means.  We can only do it supernaturally, through His power.

Posted in Christianity, Church, Do Your Best, Draw close to God, following Christ, God, God will help you, God's Love, inspirational, love one another, Love your brother, Overcome Evil with Good, religion, Romans 12:1, Romans 12:2 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Proverbs 20:7 How Fathers Can Bless Their Children

Good morning, I thought I would do something different today and share my Father’s Day sermon on this blog.

It is an honor and a blessing to share God’s Word with you one more time.  I hope you had a good week and I hope you know how much God loves you!  This weekend we celebrate Father’s Day.  It is a day in the year in which we take a time out to give special recognition to our fathers and to those who have been father figures in our lives.  As we discussed last month when we celebrated Mother’s Day, it is good for us to honor our fathers and mothers.  God tells us to do that very thing in the Ten Commandments.  The first four commandments deal with our relationship with God and the next six deal with our relationships with others.  And the very first relationship with others that is mentioned is the one we have with our father and mother.  And today we are going to honor our fathers.  We will look at several verses about fatherhood this morning, but I want to start off by sharing one with you that has been on my mind the most in the last couple of weeks.  It is found in Proverbs 20:7.

Proverbs 20:7   The righteous man walks in his integrity; how blessed are his children after him.  <PRAY>

I love this verse from Proverbs.  I love the wisdom it shares with us who are fathers.  I love the responsibility it places on our shoulders.  I love that it speaks to us about walking in integrity and living in such a way that we bless our children.  As the Bible says in Psalm 127 children are a blessing and as fathers our hearts ought to be inclined and our lives geared to being a blessing to them.  I want to explore that concept and that thought this morning in a message entitled “How Fathers Can Bless Their Children.”  And the first step I want to talk about is that fathers are to love their children.

 

  1. Love Your Children

If I were to just say, “Dads should love their children” I believe that almost everybody would agree with that statement.  But just saying that statement alone is not enough.  I think it is important for us as fathers to consider, what does that mean?  What does loving your children look like?  And when I ask that question, what I really want to know is what does God say it looks like?  And when I want to know what God says about something, I look at the precepts and the principles found in His word.  I think a good starting place is to look at Psalm 103:13 and explore what it says that fatherhood should look like. In Psalm 103, David writes:

Psalm 103:13  Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

David uses the example of the compassion of an earthly father to help us understand and appreciate the compassion shown by our Heavenly Father.  From this psalm we see that a father is to show compassion to his children.  That is the norm, that is the expectation, that is the way things ought to be.  A father ought to have compassion on his children.  The Hebrew word that David uses for compassion in is “racham.”  It is a word that means to love deeply, to show mercy and to treat someone with tender affection.  So how do you love your children?  You treat them in such a way that they experience compassion, love, mercy and tender affection in their interactions with you.  That is how children should experience their fathers.  I think it is good for fathers to consider does that describe the experience your children have with you?  Do they feel loved?  Do they feel valued and appreciated?  Would your children say that they have received tender affection from you?  The experience children have with their earthly father is important.

It is important because the way a father treats his children can greatly impact the manner in which his children view God.  Many children have developed the perspective that God is demanding and demeaning.  They have developed the idea that God is far off and only has words for them, only has time for them when He is punishing them.  And many of them get that picture of God based on their interactions with their earthly father.  They see God as demanding, demeaning and disinterested.  That’s not an accurate picture of our heavenly father and it should not be an accurate picture of earthly fathers.  One way we demonstrate love for our children is by showing affection, attention and compassion to our children.

The scriptures also remind us that we are to provide for our children.  We are to make sure their needs are met.  Our kids don’t just need time and attention; they need food, clothing and shelter.  And even in situations where the father is no longer present in the home, the father is still called to provide for the care and the needs of his children.  The Bible says in 1 Timothy 5:8

1 Tim 5:8  But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

Calling somebody worse than an infidel?  Those are strong words.  For some those would be fighting words.  But it is true, a father is supposed to provide for his children.   That is one way we bless them.  That is one way we demonstrate our love for them.  Another way we demonstrate love for our children is by providing discipline and correction.  The Bible says in Proverbs 3:11 – 12,

Prov 3:11    My son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD Or loathe His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He disciplines, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.

We are to teach our children right from wrong.  We are to teach them that there are consequences for our actions.  Just as the Lord corrects us out of love, we are to correct our children in a spirit of love.  That can be tricky.  Paul said in Ephesians 6:4

Ephesians 6:4    Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

We are to discipline our children.  It is the loving thing to do.  But when we discipline them, we are to do it in a loving way.  We are not to discipline them in a fit of anger.  We are not to do it in the heat of the moment.  We are not to do it in a way that dishonors God.  Our goal should be growth and restoration.  We are to correct and discipline our children in such a way that we still show compassion and God’s grace.  I love the picture of the grace of the father that Jesus gives us in the parable of the prodigal son.  The prodigal son treated his father badly, he separated himself from his father and lived in a way in which his father did not approve.  The prodigal son demanded his inheritance, went off to a foreign land and burned through all his money.  Let me rephrase that.  He burned through his father’s money.  The prodigal son ended up slopping hogs and decided to go back to his father’s house in shame.  Let’s look at the way Jesus described his homecoming in Luke 15:20

Luke 15:20: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

The father saw the boy coming home from a long way off.  The father was looking for him, longing for his child to come home and when the father sees him, he runs out to meet him.  He embraced the boy, even though the boy had done wrong, even though the boy had messed up.  The father was filled with compassion for his son!  He saw his son while the boy was still a long way off!  He was looking for his son, longing to have their relationship restored.  What a lovely illustration of the way our Heavenly Father looks for us and longs to have our relationship restored with Him through His Son Jesus Christ.  And this is a great picture for us as fathers.  We should treasure our relationship with our children. Even if they do wrong, and wander off.  Even it they treat us poorly and despise our teaching we are to pray for and seek out reconciliation with them.  We are to love our children!    The second lesson I see is that a father should love their children’s mother.

 

  1. Love Your Children’s Mother

If you really want to bless your children, you need to love the children’s mother.  Two of the best instructional verses we find in the Bible on how to do that are found in Ephesians chapter five in verses 25 and 28.  In that chapter Paul talks about the roles and responsibilities Christians have in this world and in our families.  And when it comes to responsibilities, Paul lays a heavy one on husbands.  Paul writes to the church:

Ephesians 5:25   Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…

28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself…

I really like the reminder in verse 28.  Paul says “husbands you do yourself some good by being good to your wife.”  And when you look at verse 25, you see that husbands are to be servant leaders in the family.  A husband is to sacrifice for his wife, tend to her, care for her and care about her with the same sacrificial and loving spirit with which Christ loves the Church!  That’s the way a husband is commanded to treat his wife.  That’s they way a father should love the mother of his children.  You may say, “Wait a minute preacher.  I’m not married to the mother of my children.”  I understand.  For whatever reason, that is the case sometimes.  But I believe the precept of this verse is still vitally important for us to embrace and abide by as fathers.  Maybe you are no longer married to the mother of your children.  Maybe you never were.  Whatever the situation was, you can’t change the past.  But you can impact the present situation and the future for your child.  And if you want to bless your children, you should still treat your children’s mother with dignity and respect even if you don’t live in the same household.

Someone may shake their head and say, “You don’t know the situation.”  You’re right.  I don’t know the situation.  But I know if I jump back a chapter to Ephesians 4:32 that I will see the exhortation to Christians to “be kind, tender-hearted toward one another, forgiving one another just as God in Christ has forgiven you.”  Whatever the situation.  Do your best to forgive.  Do your best to be kind.  Do your best to move forward and treat your children’s mother with Christian compassion, dignity and respect.  Don’t talk down to her and don’t talk down about her.  Don’t complain to the kids about her.  Kids have enough stress in this world without having to worry about how mom and dad are getting along.  One way you can bless your children is by loving the children’s mother.  The third lesson I see is that we are to love other people.

 

  1. Love other people.

If you want to bless your children, let them see you loving others and treating othes with dignity and respect.  Treat everyone that way, not just people in your immediate family.  In Matthew 22:37 Jesus was asked by a scribe what is the greatest commandment.  Jesus responded,

Mat 22:37    And He said to him, ” ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38 “This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’

Loving others, loving our neighbor as ourselves sets a great example for our children and it blesses them when we consistently model this behavior for them.  By loving others, we can teach our kids that all people have been created in the image of God.  We can teach them there is inherent worth and value in every person.  We can teach them that we don’t discriminate or treat someone unfairly, poorly or badly because of their race, color or creed.  We can teach them that we don’t treat someone unfairly, poorly or badly simply because they have a different belief system than us.  We treat everyone as a unique individual created in the image of God.

We may not agree with everyone, but we can respectfully disagree without being disagreeable.  By loving others, we can teach our children how to love others.  We can teach them how to engage in discussion.  We can teach them how to properly handle conflicts.  Our children can learn so much from us when they see us loving others.  Let me give you one more step, one more lesson for today before we go.  I think it is the most important one.  Fathers if you want to bless your children, then love the Lord.

 

  1. Love the Lord

Proverbs 20:7   The righteous man walks in his integrity; how blessed are his children after him. 

Deuteronomy 1:31   “There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”

I think the most important thing a father can do to bless his children is to love the Lord and have a right relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ.  If you want to be a righteous man you need to be right with God.  If you want to walk in integrity, you need to walk with the Lord.  If you want to love your children in the best way, you need to love the Lord.  If you want to love your children’s mother in the best way and love others in the best way, you need to love the Lord.

I started off saying that I love the responsibility that Proverbs 20:7 places on our shoulders.  Doing a good job, a godly job in each of these areas can be tough sometimes.  And I have to tell you that it doesn’t matter how broad your shoulders are, you can’t carry fully carry that responsibility well unless you let the Lord carry you.  And you can trust that He will carry you.  If you let Him.  Fathers, my prayer for you is that you will love the Lord and let Him carry you so that you can be the best father you can be.  My prayer for you is that you would come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and model that lifesaving relationship to your children.  If you would like to know more about how to do that, or what that may look like, I would be glad to speak with you and address your questions or concerns.

May God bless you,

Pastor Phillip Stephens

Posted in Being Blessed, Fathers Day, God's Standards, love one another, Love the Lord, Loving Others, Proverbs 20:7, The Prodigal | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth!  Juneteenth is the annual holiday which commemorates the day of June 19, 1865 when the news of emancipation reached people in the Galveston, Texas area.  Sadly, this day came almost two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.

One of the verses I reflect on when I think of Juneteenth is found in Galatians 3:28. In this chapter Paul exhorts the church to live by faith.  He exhorts the church to not trust in their own good works, but to trust in the grace of Christ.  Paul then wraps up the chapter with these inspired words of scripture:

     Gal 3:28   There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

In Paul’s time these words displayed a concept that many of the church were not demonstrating in their lives.  Many of the Galatian Christians still wanted to observe a dividing line between those Christians of Jewish heritage and Christians of any other heritage – often referred to as Greeks or Gentiles.  Paul reminds the church that God does not see one person or one group or one category of people as better than or more valuable than any other.  Every person has been created in the image of God.  And God loves every person; He loves them so much He sent His Son to die for them.  Christ died for all and Christ offers forgiveness to everyone!  God is no respecter of persons.  Someday in heaven, praises will be offered to God by people of “every nation, every tribe, and every language (Revelation 7:9).”

What a glorious scene!  All types and kinds of people worshiping the Lord together in unity and harmony.  What a beautiful picture!  Sadly, it’s not the picture today.  For that reason, Paul’s exhortation to the church is just as relevant now as it was then.  Each of us, whatever group we may identify with, need to see other people as being valuable individuals, created in the image of God.  We need to treat everyone with dignity and respect.  We need to listen to one another, help one another and work together to address the distinctions, the dividing lines and the disparate treatment that some people groups still experience today.  Church, we should make it our goal to work together, to love others and let the Lord lead us and guide us so that we can help solve some problems and begin to experience some of the unity and harmony in the “here and now” that awaits us in the hereafter.

Posted in Christianity, Church, faith, forgiveness, freedom, Galatians 3:28, harmony, inspirational, love one another, Loving Others, unity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Words Are Important

This week I have been reflecting a lot on Ephesians 4:29 – 32.  This passage in chapter 4 of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians contains some of my favorite memory verses in the whole Bible.  I especially love verses 29 and 32.  I love the way Paul wraps up this chapter to the church which began with a call to live in a manner that glorifies Christ.  Paul writes:

Ephesians 4:29   Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. 30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

For Christians posting on social media or sharing memes or videos, it would be a good idea to see if what we are sharing lines up with the precepts given in this passage.  Do our words have the effect of building up those who see them and hear them?  Does our message seek to inform, instruct and inspire others in a way that is full of God’s grace, God’s truth and God’s love?   Do our words carry the weight of our own personal anger, slander and wrath?  Or do our words demonstrate and offer the same kindness, compassion, forgiveness and grace that the Lord has extended to us?  Those are some good questions to consider.  And this is a great passage to reflect on each day so that we can do a better job of glorifying the Lord.

Posted in Church, encouraging others, Ephesians 4:29, Ephesians 4:32, Filled with Grace, God is worthy, God will help you, God's Grace, Relationships, sharing, Sharing God's Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pass the Baton, Tell the Story

A couple of nights each week, I serve as an on-call chaplain at a local hospital.  It is a great team to be a part of.  We work with some wonderful nurses, doctors and other staff and we get to meet and minister to some very special people.  My shift always begins with receiving a report from the on-duty chaplain at the time.  Before their shift ends, they inform me of all the important situations and critical information that I need to know.  At the end of my shift, I give a similar report to the next chaplain on duty.  I think of it as being a “hand-off” or a “passing of a baton” to the next person on duty.   After I gave my report this morning, I was reminded of the “passing of the baton” that David speaks of in Psalm 145.  In verses 3 and 4 David writes,

Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.

Throughout the psalm David talks about the greatness of the Lord.  David praises the Lord for His goodness, His graciousness, His righteousness and His mercy.  And throughout the psalm, David says that he will tell others about the Lord’s greatness.  He will speak of all the good things the Lord has done.  And David says that all who know the Lord will share a similar testimony.  They will give a report to the next generation of the goodness, the grace, the righteousness and the mercy of God because these are important and critical things that others need to hear.

The Lord truly is great and worthy to be praised.  He loves us and offers us forgiveness of our sins.  He offers us salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.  He offers us peace in the eye of the storm, strength in the midst of our struggles and wisdom in times of uncertainty.  He wants to meet our deepest needs.  That’s my report for today.  I would love to share more details with you or answer any questions you may have.  Feel free to send me a direct message.  May God bless you and the ones you love.

Posted in Being Blessed, Christianity, Church, encouraging others, faith, forgiveness, God, God is worthy, God's Grace, ministry work, sharing, Sharing the Word, witnessing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lessons I Have Learned from My Dogs

Our household isn’t as full now as it has been over the years.  Although the kids and grandkids live pretty close by, most days it’s just the wife and me in the house.  And the dogs.  I’ve had more time to hang out with the dogs the last month or so, and they have taught me or reminded me of some very good lessons.  Here are just a few.

 

  1. It’s okay to experience and express joy. My dogs get so excited when it’s time to eat or time to go for a walk.  When they see me headed to get the dog treats or if I grab their leashes, they start prancing and dancing and wagging their tails.  They get so excited about something which many of us would consider simple, everyday things.  Maybe all of us should do a better job of appreciating and finding joy in “simple, every day things.”  Experiencing and expressing joy is a good thing.

 

  1. Don’t worry all the time. As I just said, my dogs get excited every time they see me grab their leashes.  They figure they are about to get out of the house and go on a walk.  They look forward to tracking some squirrels, barking at cats and sniffing some trees.  They expect the best of things.  Now, it should be noted that sometimes when I grab their leashes, we do not go on a walk.  Instead, we end up going to the veterinarian’s office.  My dogs don’t care for that.   But that only happens about 1 out of 100 times that I grab the leashes; maybe less.  What I saying is that my dogs don’t let the 1 out of 100 chance that we might be going to the vet cause them to run every time I grab the leash.  They don’t let some “worst case scenario” rule their decisions and ruin their day.  If they did, they would miss out on a lot of good walks and good times of tracking squirrels, barking at cats and sniffing some trees.  If you worry all the time, you will miss out on some good times.  Don’t worry so much.

 

  1. Take care of your pack. Just because my dogs don’t worry all the time doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned about the well-being of everyone in their pack…which includes me and other family members.  If they hear some unusual noise, they will check it out.  If something doesn’t seem just right, they will alert the others.  If they see something, they will say something.  Both of the dogs we have right now, can be a little timid and scared of new or different or loud things.  I have one dog that hides on the couch and one that hides behind the couch when the vacuum cleaner comes out!  But as timid and as scared as they can be, they would take on lions and tigers and bears if another member of the pack was threatened.  That’s a good quality.  We should take care of our pack, even when it’s scary, even when it’s hard, even when it’s difficult and dangerous.  Take care of your pack.

 

  1. Be a good listener. Part of taking care of your pack involves being a good listener.  My dogs are excellent listeners.  If I have a bad day, if I have a problem that I am trying to work through, if I’m feeling down or even if I am feeling great and just want to tell somebody how wonderful things are going, my dogs are excellent listeners.  They will let me share, they will let me vent, they will let me complain, they will let me share whatever is on my mind.  They are great listeners.  They won’t try to fix my problems, they won’t make any judgments or suggestions, they won’t try to burst my bubble about some good news I am sharing, they will just listen.  I like that.  I think too many times most of us don’t spend enough time listening.  We need to be more discerning about what other people need.  Many times, in fact, most times people don’t want or need us to “fix” their problems.  They simply want and need to be heard.  Be a good listener.

 

  1. Listen to your body. Speaking of listening, listen to your body.  Naps are good.  My dogs love to nap.  In fact, one of them was telling me the other day that if he doesn’t get 20 hours of sleep a day then he knows he is in for a ruff time.  Okay, that was bad.  But my dogs do love to nap.  And they will nap when they are tired; it does not matter what else is going on, they will find a spot on the couch and go to sleep.  And if we are on a walk and they are starting to get a little hot, they will take a break under the first shade tree we come to.  It’s good to walk and exercise, but don’t overdo it.  My dogs do a good job of listening to their bodies.  They eat when they’re hungry, sleep when they’re tired and rest when they’re weary.  That is a good lesson for all of us.  Listen to your body.

 

There are more lessons, but five seems like a good stopping place for now.  Besides, it’s time to take the dogs around the block.  I can hear them prancing already!  May you and your family, have a wonderful day.

 

Posted in Being Blessed, Being Thankful, faith, God Loves Me, God loves you, good advice, I am blessed, joy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Should I Do Now?

I was asking someone the other day how they were doing during this time of “sheltering in place.”  They said that they and their family and friends were healthy physically and managing okay financially.  While they did not have any major complaints, they did admit that they were bored.  They said they were all caught up on their housework, yard work and other chores and now they just didn’t know what to do.

I am sure that my friend is not alone in feeling bored and “wanting something to do.”  I have found that the best way to find out what to do is to first focus on how to be.  One of my favorite passages on how to be is found in Ephesians chapter 4.  In the first verse of that chapter Paul tells the Church they should be mindful of what they do.  Walk in a manner worthy of the calling God has placed on their lives.  That chapter closes with Paul reminding the church that the things we should do flow from who we should be.  In Ephesians 4:32 Paul says:

Eph 4:32  Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

That is a great way to be.  Kind.  Tender-hearted.  Forgiving one another.  Offering the same grace, the same goodness and the same love that we have received.  Want to know what to do today?  Start off with how to be today.  Be kind to one another, be tender-hearted and forgiving one another.  If you start with “how to be” you will know what to do.

Posted in Be kind tenderhearted, Being Blessed, Choose to be happy, Christianity, Church, doing the right thing, Ephesians 4:32, faith, God loves you, God will lead you, God's Grace, God's Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sheltering in Place

I am pretty sure that I am not the only one experiencing just a little bit of cabin fever what with the “sheltering in place” we have been doing.  And I understand and I agree with the reasoning behind it.  Staying home equates to saving lives.  I was joking with someone the other day and said, “I feel like I’m stuck in that Groundhog’s Day movie but I haven’t learned to play the piano yet.”  Later on, I got to thinking about that movie and how Bill Murray’s character started off the movie feeling stuck and wanting to get out of his situation.  After a while, he changed his tune and started learning some new things and making a difference.  And while that was just a goofy movie, there are some lessons we can learn from it.  Who will we be, what will we be, how will we be when it’s over?  We get to decide that each and every day.

Maybe you won’t be able to play the piano, but what other new things will you learn by the time we get back to the “new normal?”  What new skills will you have developed?  What old skills will you have polished and improved upon?

What relationships will you have improved?  Who can you call, who can you reconnect with, who can you reach out to during this time?  What difference can you make between now and the time the “sheltering in place” is over?  This movie will end.  Let’s give it a good, happy, inspirational ending.  I know that we can.  Because who will we be, what will we be, how will we be when it’s over is up to each of us, every single day.  Hang in there…and keep practicing.   #Philippians4:13

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