30 Days to Happiness: Z is for ZIP-IT!

delightfulbibleWhoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Proverbs 21:23

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.Proverbs 15:1

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing. Proverbs 12:18

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.Psalm 34:13

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless. James 1:26

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent. Proverbs 17:28

For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit. I Peter 3:10

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. Proverbs 18:21

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30 Days to Happiness: H is for Hawaii

Hawaii3“There’s no place on earth like Hawaii.” Hawaii is my goal word for “H.” As I go through my list each day, I enjoy that moment to think about Hawaii.  Renewal, refreshing, tranquility meet me in that moment. I believe that when we let our imagination embrace those sandy beaches and enticing waters, we widen the funnel through which creativity flows. As we open ourselves up to let our imagination soar across the country and across the Pacific Ocean, God pours fresh ideas and new insights into our spirit.

Here are a few of my impressions, a list of places to see in Hawaii, and a link to a great blog for us to follow when we take our next trip there.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My Impressions

  • vibrant flowers
  • floral scents wafting on the breeze
  • water crashing on rocks
  • swaying to Hawaiian music
  • feeling the rhythm of the islands
  • warm tranquil waters beckoning us
  • open-air restaurants with panoramic views of ocean
  • detectible macadamia nut desserts
  • divers plunging from Black Rock
  • black sandhawaii8
  • water five shades of blue and green
  • lush vegetation
  • sugar cane fields
  • alluring
  • amazing
  • breath-taking
  • browsing through quaint shops
  • cascading waterfalls
  • exotic flower leis
  • invigorating walks on the beach
  • vibrant sea life invite you for a closer lookhawaii2
  • snorkeling
  • “sand like pillows under your feet”
  • stroll winding paths to the beach
  • be submerged in a culture of luaus and hula danceshawaii4
  • Tropical paradise
  • Unwinding in a hammock beneath tall palm trees

Places to See In Hawaii

Banzai Pipeline

Black Rock

Diamond Head

Fern Grottohawaii10

Haiku Stairs

Haleakala National Park

Hana Highway

Hanauma Bay

hawaii9Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Iolani Palace,

Lanikai Beach

Manoa Falls

Mokana

Molokini

Pearl Harbor

Polynesian Cultural Centerhawaii11

Red Sand Beach,

Turtle Bay Resort

USS Arizona

Waimea Canyon State Park

Waimea Falls

Waipio Valley

 20 Tips for Visiting the  Hawaiian Islands

Have you ever been to Hawaii? What have I left out? If you haven’t been, would you like to go?

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30 Days to Happiness: Y is for Yield

yield3Slow down and proceed with caution. Why? So that you don’t run into others and get in their way.

Prefer others. Let them go first.

Don’t interrupt.

Avoid collisions.

Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.

Don’t push your way in or manipulate to get what you want.

Let others have the limelight.

You don’t have to have your way all of the time.

You can wait your turn.

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think. Romans 12:3

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another. Romans 12:10

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble. I Peter 5:5

yield 2Don’t get in God’s way either. Let Him have the right  of way; fall in behind Him. He will not lead you astray.

Sometimes yielding too much or too often is taking the easy way out. If you constantly give in to others and agree with them always doing what they say, you are not being yourself and expressing how you feel. You can become a people pleaser and forget who you really are. This is not true yielding. It is a safety mechanism to keep you from being hurt or rejected. When you know who you are in Christ, you can be yourself, and out of the love of God, you slow down and proceed with caution so that you can lift up someone else. This is the yielding that produces fruit in your life and brings glory to God.

Is yielding hard or easy for you? Do you have any suggestions for us on how to yield to others in the right way? And how do you yield to God? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. I really need help with this.

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30 Days to Happiness: X is for Examine

XOne day as I meditated on the word “examine” I reiterated all of the things I had done that day. I suppose I was hoping God would be impressed as I examined myself and found that I had accomplished so much. However instead of the “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,” that I was hoping to hear, I heard,”What was your heart doing today?” I had no answer for that, and I still ponder what would be the answer He is looking for. I am sure it has a great deal to do with love. It is much wiser to ask God to examine us, and it is even wiser to listen to His voice of love as He then guides us in the way everlasting.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    try me and know my thoughts.
 See if there be any wicked way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139-1The following is taken from, “He Searched Me and This Is What He Found Today,”  based on Psalm 139: 1-6 as I allowed the Lord to bring me out of the muck back into a place of right standing with Him.

 So Lord, I see what you mean. You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit  down and when I rise up. You know my thoughts. You understand my path and when I lie down. You know what I’m doing and thinking all of the time. You know what I’m going to do and say even before I say or do it. You have hedged me behind and before and laid your hand upon me. That’s to keep me safe and give me peace. This is so wonderful I can’t even describe it. Even though you know my thoughts, motives, and actions, you are still willing to look out for me and lay your hand upon me. This is truly incredible to me! Please forgive me for my wrong thinking, my negativity and jealousy. I know my hope is in You. Peace and joy come rushing in again like fresh water cleansing me. Thank you. I look up and see Your face, and I am encouraged. Let the joy flow from me, and let Your love and wisdom flow from me, I pray. In Jesus name, Amen.

When He examines your heart today, what will He find? Tune in to the Voice of Love, and hear what He will say to you!

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30 Days to Happiness: W is for Win!

  • WWhen you cross something off your “To Do” list, you win.
  • When you are friendly to someone doing you a service, you win.
  • When you find something you lost, you win.
  • When you remember something you forgot, you win.
  • When you do something out of your comfort zone, you win.
  • When you are bombarded with negative thinking, and you change your thinking, you win.
  • When someone gives you a hard time, but you are kind anyway, you win.
  • When you learn something new, you win.
  • When you make a new friend, you win.
  • winningWhen you count your blessings, you win
  • When you are on time, you win.
  • When you say you are sorry, you win.
  • When you forgive, you win.
  • When you do something for someone else, you win.
  • When you do something in spite of a fear, you win.
  • When you overcome a fear, you win.
  • When you get to “Z” on your “A to Z Challenge,” you win!

Don’t you love winning? Can you add anything to my “Win List?” Remind yourself daily that you ARE a WINNER!

 

 

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30 Days to Happiness: V is for Visit

VPaying someone a visit at their home is almost a lost art here in America. I am an avid reader of Christian fiction, and I often notice all of the visiting that goes on there. We just don’t seem to do that in real life. The last time I invited someone over to our house, and I am woefully ashamed to admit it, was for Jay’s birthday in July. It was so wonderful to have dear friends over, but we haven’t done it again since then.

As I set my goal for the year to “visit,” I had in mind a particular lady that I admire. I have a goal to invite her to lunch early in the year, and Larry and I have set a goal to have a meal with another couple that we love. Why is this so difficult? I do not have the answers, yet, although I suspect it has to do with time, energy, and motivation. Time slips away so quickly and our intentions to “visit” could pass just as quickly into another year. We miss so much, so many opportunities, to deepen relationships when we do not make time to visit. Are we being robbed of the Jesus in others, and are we missing opportunities to let Him visit others through us. We need to come together and get with others as often as possible. It may be uncomfortable, and in may be inconvenient, but it will no doubt be invaluable in becoming the person God wants us to be.

Try This:  Call someone, plan a visit. Yo might also like to picture Jesus visiting you. Would you clean up your house or your heart? When he got there, what would you talk about?

When was the last time you invited someone to your home, or were invited to another home? Please share in the comments. Happy visiting!

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30 Days to Happiness: U is for Understanding

This article was first published under the title, “The Other Side of the Die.” It  depicts what “understanding” means to me. We often focus only on how we see something, and we seek out new  and more powerful ways to convince others that our point of view is the one and only correct one. When we realize that we are seeing only “one side of the dice,” it opens the door for us to see and understand how things look from someone else’s perspective. At our house now, we often remind each other, that “it’s just another side of the dice.”

The Other Side of the Die

That’s right. “die”. . .singular of dice. We can say dice for singular or plural, kind of like deer and deer, but to get your attention, I decided to title this article, “The Other Side of the dice8Die.”  While I am randomly discussing weird words, I have a question for you. When you are alone in the kitchen, do you reach for the thyme and quietly say “thime” or do you really, even in the privacy of your own home, actually say “time.” I was just wondering because it is very difficult for me to say “time” for “thyme” and makes no sense at all and that is the whole point of “The Other Side of the Die.” Let me explain. When I am looking at one side of a die, let’s say I see a one; someone across from me will be seeing a six (as in one says “time” and another says “thime.”) Two other friends are going to see the two and the five. Every one of us sees things from our very own point of view, based on our personality, our experiences, and our beliefs.

When we can accept this, it opens up a whole new interesting world. We can look at ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and sixes and have an understanding of how someone else might view the world. There are those who truly enjoy seeing weird speckle-faced aliens boarding dice6spaceships and trying to take over the minds of the crew and condemn them to spinning endlessly in space never to return home again. The same person might view a fun, light-hearteddice7 detective show like Monk as uninteresting, if not annoying. Once you realize that it’s just the other side of the die, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t make one good and one bad, or one right and one wrong. It makes life interesting.

In another scenario, we may have someone who loves Christian rock music while another dice10prefers contemporary music. There are even those who prefer science fiction over historical Christian fiction. Tamera Alexander, you didn’t hear it from me. These differences can be an open door for conversation and greater understanding. It can  be fascinating to find out what is going on in someone’s else’s world.  You might also find it intriguing  to find  out how other people view politics and religion, if you can learn to view it from “the other side of the dice.” We can learn not to react or overreact when someone is  blatantly opposed to our way of thinking. Consider it the same as you would a different preference for chocolate over vanilla ice-cream or a preference for cheese pizza over supreme. Why anyone would prefer vanilla over chocolate, I have no idea, but I am willing to open the door of understanding to find out.

Exploring different viewpoints is a healthy alternative to thinking that you and only you are right in all things. Learning to respect  the differences in others is like giving vivid colors to an otherwise drab one-sided way of looking at life. Differences are simply a springboard for digging deeper, for asking questions and finding out more about those you love and those you meet.

Sir Isaac NewtonThere are many sides to every strongly held belief, yet, let us not be mistaken in the fact that there is Absolute Truth. Just as there are laws that govern the universe like the law of gravity, inertia, and the law of lift, there is also Absolute Truth. . .absolute right and wrong.   It is important to have a firm foundation on which to stand as we develop our way of looking at the universe. Thank God that He is unchangeable. His laws are right and true and His plan of salvation through His Son is sure! Standing on our firm foundation, we are free to accept and understand others even when their views are diametrically opposed to our own.

Whether it be differences in our entertainment preferences, our music, our political viewsdice1 or our understanding of Scripture, we can open doors of communication by asking questions, being respectful, calm, and kind and simply having fun by looking at something in a new way. Turn the die around, look at each side. Know that each and every person is important to our Creator, Look more deeply at what makes them who they are. “Time or thime,” it really doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you throw the dice.

 

 

T Is For Trust: Please Don’t Let Me Fall

Please Don’t Let Me Fall!

Choose someone in the world that you “trust.” Ask them to catch you as you totally fall back into their arms. This is a team-building exercise often used in group encounters to encourage trusting others. Don’t you just want to say to the person who is supposedly behind you, “Please, don’t let me fall.”

Since they are human, there is ever the possibility that they could be distracted by trust1something and step away at just the moment you are “trusting them” as you fall back. It is also remotely possible that they could, heaven forbid, decide to see what actually happens if they step back and watch you fall. Your life and health are in their hands. So you say, “Please, don’t let me fall.”

I daily have the opportunity to fall back, trusting  God to catch me, but sometimes something holds me back from fully trusting Him. I deal with worry and trying to figure out solutions to my own problems. This can cause me to be frustrated or even frightened when things don’t go my way.

trust1_2I found a quote online that answered the question, “What is trust?” Here is the answer: “Trust is believing that the person you are in a relationship with means good for you.” That statement bolted through my consciousness. I realized that at the heart of my “trust issue” was the fact that I was not sure that God meant good for me. I was afraid He would let me fall.

This led me to the next question. Does God ever cause destruction, pain and failure? No, He does not.  At the first sign of trouble, He sweeps in to bring every ounce of good and benefit and blessing out of anything that comes our way. It doesn’t matter if it comes to us through our own mistakes, consequences of our actions, life, or the enemy of our soul. He is there. He will not let us fall.  A loving  parent can’t, and really shouldn’t, stop every unpleasant thing from happening to their child, yet they are always available and rush in to help, love, advise, comfort, and restore. They can be trusted. Just like this, God is always there to rush in to help, love, advise, comfort, restore, strengthen, and guide, through it all. By doing this He brings forth treasures we could never have had otherwise. Yes, He can be trusted.

trust2Taking it a step higher, by staying close, close, close to Him, we will avoid many of the troubles that would have come our way had we trekked out on our own course. Yes, I can trust Him. He wants my good, He alone knows how to lead me to fulfill His Plan for me. Without a doubt, as I walk and talk with Him throughout the day, He loves and leads, guides and encourages. He can be trusted. He will not let me fall!

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30 Days to Happiness: S is for Send

Send me flowers. Send me your love. Send up prayers. Send cards. Send packages. Send Valentines. Send cookies. Send a thank-you note. It is so much fun to get things in the mail, especially if there is something in it. So send it!

packageMy grandmother always sent a birthday card with a dollar in it to every child, grandchild and in-law. She did this until she was well into her 80’s, and we always looked forward to getting Mammaw’s dolllar even when the monetary value of that dollar had plummeted. As I pondered what I would send, when “send” popped up as one of my “guide words” the first thing that came to mind was to send birthday cards to my family members. I have three precious nieces that I do not get to see more than once a year. Frankly, I wish I could have been more involved in their lives. I don’t know where the time goes, but it has slipped away. I love them dearly, and I am extremely proud of all three of them. I have an amazingly cute great-nephew and great-niece that I also love and do not see often enough. My plan is to send them birthday cards on time this year.  We have a rather small family compared to many, and I treasure each one, and sincerely hope they know that.  I have dear friends on my “send list” as well. These  friends are as much family as friends, and I can’t imagine our lives without them. Sending cards can be a valuable expression of thoughtfulness and love, especially if sent with prayers that they will carry a special touch from the Lord.

Reminders to myself:

  • Buy stamps.
  • Buy cards in advance.
  • Prepare cards early.
  • Mail 2-3 days before birthdate.
  • Send holiday cards to special people.
  • Send thank-you notes for each dinner invitation and any gifts received.
  • Always RSVP to invitations.

Fun ways to send packages: Here and more ideas for sending things, here.

Send some love today!

Have you received or sent something fun in the mail? What does it mean to you to get something personal instead of junk mail and bills? Motivate us to mail something!

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30 Days to Happiness: R is for Relax

Relax A book, a hot bath, a beach chair, a float for the pool, a pillow, blanket, sofa, a massage. . .Any one of these or a combination will beckon me, and I will obey and relax. My resume clearly shows that relaxing is a definite strength. I can usually put off any number of high priority tasks if either opportunity or  inspiration presents itself for me to relax.  I have one question for you, if  I am so good at relaxing, why do I  get intense so easily? The answer lies in the fact that I may be relaxing my body, but my mind is still on the job.

If we can learn to give our minds a rest along with our bodies, I believe  we will find a  deeper place of relaxation  where God can speak to us, refresh us, and bring about the best in us. It is going to require getting our mind, “our reasoner” to be quiet. When I am “relaxing” my mind is still rapidly chasing rabbit trails Thousands of thoughts continue to vy for my attention, pulling me away from the book I am reading, busily solving problems or making plans. That may be relaxation of the body, but it is not RELAXATION of the mind.

I would venture to say that our minds are the hardest working organ in our bodies. For example, the heart basically has one job to do, pump blood. The liver gets poisons out of our systems; the lungs take in air and release carbon dioxide; the stomach digests food. Read this list of what our brains do:

  •  “Controls the  body’s functions, such as walking, talking, swallowing, breathing, taste, smell, heart rate
  • Controls all our thinking functions, our emotions, how we behave and all our intellectual (cognitive) activities, such as how we attend to things, how we perceive and understand our world and its physical surroundings, how we learn and remember and so on.” (ABI Manual)

I don’t know about you, but my brain needs to RELAX!

I know that when I can get my “reasoner” to be quiet, I can better hear from God, I can be more creative, and I can receive inspiration from Him. This is great motivation to find techniques to quiet my mind and learn to really relax. I’ll be experimenting with this over the next few weeks, so if you have any tips, please feel free to share them.

Here’ s a method of relaxation suggested by Norman Vincent Peale’s in his book, The Power of Positive Thinking.

Lay with your palms up.

  • Begin with the toes, and think or say “My toes are relaxed.” Do this slowly without thinking too much about it.
  • Move up your body, doing this with every muscle part until you have covered all of the muscles of the face and the top of the head.
  • At this point you should be completely relaxed or asleep.

Another idea for entering into a deeper state of relaxation is to imagine you are on the 50th floor of an elevator. Count down as the elevator goes down opening out onto a beautiful beach or a peaceful scene. Your mind should be quieted now, and you can relax, thinking only of the Lord and the beautiful scene in your imagination.

A third method is to simply put on some relaxing music. You can find a number of sessions on Youtube. Just lie down, breathe deeply, and and totally relax.

If you have tips and methods for deep relaxation, please share. I really want to give my brain a rest!

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