The Gift of Another Day


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Psalm 90:12

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should.

Once every four years the calendar gives us an extra day. There’s a scientific reason – the earth rotates around the sun every 365 ¼ days. Those who created our calendar added an extra day every fourth year to make up for this. There’s actually more to it than my brief explanation, but you get the idea – we have the gift of another day this year.

How will we use the extra day?

We take so much of life for granted, especially those of us blessed with families, jobs, and good health. We race to get our commitments completed, then complain that we have too much to do – work, errands, children’s activities and the like. We don’t stop often enough to enjoy or appreciate life’s many blessings. I am guilty of rushing through life like there is always tomorrow.

But life is brief. We don’t know how much time we have. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Our extra day falls on a Monday this year, so how about celebrating our “leap day” this weekend? Leave your watch in a drawer and unplug for the day. Think about how you can enjoy – really appreciate – the many blessings our God has given to us. Connect with your friends and family and hold them tight. Savor each moment with them. Go on an outing. Gaze at a landscape, or a sunset. Take a nature walk. Stop to really look at flowers, or a lake, or the clouds. Become aware of the gifts we so often overlook. Live.

Psalm 118:24

This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Blessings on your “leap day.”

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com (The Living Bible Translation)

Images: google images

Developing Patience


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 Psalm 37:7-9

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

“Patience may be the trait we are most lacking.” Pastor David Alexander, First United Methodist Church, Mansfield, Texas

The other day I was listening to a previously recorded sermon as part of my quiet time. The above quote convicted me to the point I knew it was time to do something about my lack of patience because I don’t always display this beautiful trait. In fact, I think I usually fail in the patience category. Frequently, I’ve been short with my husband and kids. I’ve been impatient in traffic and people standing before me in line. I’ve been impatient waiting at the doctor’s office. The list goes on, and on…

Although we live in an instant gratification culture it doesn’t mean we have to live like everyone else. I decided it was time to develop this very necessary skill. What is patience and how can I develop it? Dictionary.com tells us patience is “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay and the ability to bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like.” The word willingness is key. It means I have control. I also noticed where the word patience is in the Love Chapter. Notice 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Patience is an act of love.

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Now the question becomes, “How can I develop patience?” There are probably dozens of suggestions, but these are the ones I came up with:

  • Recognize that there are some things you simply cannot control.
  • Recognize the things that make you act on impulse, and either avoid them or think about the reasons for your reactions
  • Look at the other person’s point of view
  • Slow down and practice delaying gratification.
  • Think before you speak. It may be as simple as counting to 10 before your respond.
  • Ask yourself, why are you in such a hurry? Will hurrying change anything?
  • Identify triggers that make you feel impatient and plan to avoid them.
  • Remind yourself that things do take time.
  • Remember that for every minute you are angry, you lose a minute of joy and peace.
  • Create space or margin in your life knowing that you will need the extra time to deal with the inevitable.

How about you?  Do you have any suggestions for developing patience? I would love to hear from you.

 Blessings on your day.

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Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

The Season Of Light


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At this time of year I look fondly at Christmas memories, my heritage, and holiday expectations. There are so many traditions to enjoy, including food, enjoying certain activities, and decorating our homes with lights. Both a tradition and expectation are the lights we see at this time of year. Our homes, businesses, and even the streets shine brightly with millions of white and colored lights. We enjoy decorating our homes and driving around to look at all the light displays. Why do we have such a fascination with light?

I won’t attempt to answer this question from a scientific perspective, although I think we are probably wired to be interested in light. I believe our love of light is explained within the pages of our Holy Scriptures.

Light is a common metaphor for God throughout the Bible. The first thing God created was light (Genesis 1:3) and He separated light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4). Interestingly, He created light before He made the sun, moon and stars on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-16). Isaiah 9:1-7 predicts the birth of our Savior, calling Him a great light.  As Jesus was born He was called light (Matthew 4:16 and John 1:5). Jesus told us He is the light of the world (John 8:12 and John 12:46) and we’re also told that God is light (1 John 1:5). More exciting is that we are children of God; therefore we are children of light (Ephesians 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:5). At the end of the Bible God tells us Jesus will be the light for the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:23).

There are more references in Scripture to light than are practical to post, but I think you get the idea. Jesus is light. Therefore decorating with light is fitting, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior.

James 1:17

…Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of lights…

May your Christmas be richly blessed by the Light of the World.

 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: google images

Thankfulness – Day 27


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Dear Lord,

Today we give You thanks for the people who have been called to perform services for others. These wonderful servants take care of things that make our lives more comfortable and healthy. Lord, we give you thanks for trash collectors, plumbers, pest control, those who service our vehicles, and for so many others that serve others. Remind us to be kind and gracious to these servants and to remember them this holiday season.

 Proverbs 11:25

Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Mark 10:44-45

And whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Galatians5.13

Matthew 20:28

Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 9:35

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

 Scripture: www.openbible.info

Image: Google Images

Thankfulness Day 21


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Thank you Lord for the gift of traditions so that we may come together as family and friends, and remember to celebrate your goodness. Thank you also for the traditions of our faith that provide structure to our worship experience.

 2 Thessalonians 2:15

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

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From Leviticus 23

The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts.

The Sabbath

The Passover

The Feast of First fruits

The Feast of Weeks

The Feast of Trumpets

The Day of Atonement

The Feast of Booths

 

May you experience abundance and blessings as you celebrate the traditions of this season.

 

Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

Thankfulness – Day 20


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 Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for the gift of wisdom so we may learn to make godly choices. Help us remember to ask for wisdom as we consider every choice we make. Help us properly weigh the repercussions of every decision before we make it so that we may make godly choices that will bring you honor and glory.

 Proverbs 14:15

“The naïve believes everything, but the prudent man considers his steps.”

 

 Scripture: www.biblegateway.com

Image: Google Images

Thankfulness – Day 14


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Dear Creator God,

Today I thank You for the four seasons. Thank you for the rest of winder, rebirth in spring, growing in summer, and the harvest in autumn. Thank you for the order and predictability you have given our lives. Thank you that these seasons are also metaphoric. Help us apply the lessons of the seasons to our lives.

Genesis 1:14

And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years,

Psalm 104:19

He made the moon to mark the seasons; the sun knows its time for setting.

Daniel 2:21

He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

  PSalm 1 3

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

 

May you embrace and enjoy what each season offers you.

 

Scripture: www.openbible.info

Images: Google Images