10 Things You Can Do With Jesus

Jesus6Imagine that you have been lost in the woods and have begun to feel quite alone and frightened, yet you hear Someone call your name. When you see Jesus coming toward you, you are filled with a sense of relief. “You say Jesus, I am so glad You are here!”

Focusing on the Lord can open up wide, sweeping vistas to abundant life.”Things You Can Do With Jesus,” a sequel to “Lost in the Woods.” is a list of things you can do with Jesus as you purpose to spend time with Him. You might want to choose one and see where it leads you.

  1. Affirm your belief in Him. Tell Him who you believe He is.twists
  2. You can talk to Him about your fears. Tell him what keeps you awake at night. What things cause you to feel vulnerable and anxious? What does He say about your fears? Listen carefully.
  3. You can talk to Him about the twists and turns you have taken trying to find your way through life. He will help you make sense of it, and you will see that even when you went in circles and found yourself in the same place, it was all for a purpose.
  4. You can explore His creation with Him. He can point out things you miss when you aren’t looking. Explore the amazing intricacies of each creation. You can spend hours learning to notice His Divine touch in the world.
  5. You can be comforted in the darkness just by being with Him, walking or sitting in the woods or by a stream, saying His name.
  6. You can let Him lead you out of the woods into the green meadow, talking about life, about your family, your friends, things you like to do, things you wonder about.
  7. You can sit with Him or climb a tree with Him and talk about your dreams and plans.
  8. You can listen while He tells you about His dreams and plans for you.
  9. You can listen to His guidance, new insights, ideas, and direction.
  10. You can ask Him for the secrets of the universe and listen as He reveals Himself to you.

Jesus1Today’s Verse: Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Try This: Find something to do with Jesus every day. Have a great day and truly enjoy Him and His creation!

Lost in the Woods-A Fresh Look at John 3:16

John 3 16-4For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16

John 3 16-2That’s right pick it up, look at it, turn it around, now inside out. Can you see anything you might have missed before? Are there any phrases that pop out at you, that can speak to you in a new and different way. What I saw when I tried it this morning was a very tightly knit verse that completely and compactly gives us God’s plan of salvation for the world, for you and I. It’s all there. . .who, why, what, when, and how. It’s really all we need to know to make our way back to God and literally have eternal life.

voice5But there is more. . .With my picking and poking, I found some amazing revelation. God’s love is far greater than our love for our children and grandchildren, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. He thought of us, created us, created a world for us, created everything in it for us. We are his project, his plan, his purpose. All of His dreams and hopes and plans are wrapped up in us.

And there’s more. . .The Greek word for perish is “apollumi” which actually means “to lose or be lost.” Did you ever feel lost like you were wandering alone in the forest and didn’t know where to go? There are so many twists and turns, rocks and stumps to trip you. That tree suddenly looks very familiar. Perhaps you are going in circles. You thought you were making progress, but you are back right where you started. “Help!” you yelled. It’s soon going to be dark. and there are going to be scary animals, bears, coyotes maybe even snakes crawling John 3 16-3around on their way to dinner. Your imagination starts to run wild. Your breathing becomes heavy, you are frightened and sweating. Then you hear a quiet voice saying your name. You turn and look to your left. It’s not quite dark yet, and you can barely make out a face. He is coming to you and He is calling your name again. He just asks you to believe in Him and He will lead you out of darkness and away from all of the scary things. He will make sense of all of the twists and turns, and as daylight comes, He will show you His beautiful creation. He will lead you out of the woods into a beautiful meadow where you can discuss your dreams and plans and His dreams and plans for you and marvel that they are so much alike. And then He shows you how to take the next step and the next and then He shares even more of Himself with you until you can barely breathe with the wonder of it! This is eternal life.

The Other Side of the Die

dice3

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,” “Die or dice,” it really doesn’t matter. It’s all in how you throw the dice.

 

 

A Thankful Heart

thankful1Warm blankets, electric lights, toothbrushes, hot water, Bible, devotional books, all my books, make-up, hair dryers, clothes, closets, shoes, sweaters, food, computers, televisions, refrigerators, plastic bags, eyeglasses, keys, and I haven’t left the house  yet. So much to be thankful for, so little time.

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“Well, I am surprised to see you here again so soon.” Dr. Sharon smiles at her patient who has arrived on time for his appointment. “What seems to be the problem? You look the picture of health! I believe you are actually glowing!”

Physician Talking to Patient“Well, Doc, I do feel fabulous. I can’t stop the bubbling feeling I have inside that something wonderful is going to happen. I just thought you should check it out and see what’s going on. People are starting to look at me strangely like something is wrong with me. I’ve had complaints about my singing, and they say I am smiling too much. It makes them nervous, so I thought the least I could do was see what’s causing it. I haven’t felt this good in years and frankly if you and I could bottle it and sell it, I think we both might become millionaires. How about it, Doc? See what’s going on.”
“All right, let me have a look,” pressing down his tongue with the tongue depressor. “Say, Ahhhhhhh.” Well, I will have to tell you, I don’t see this kind of thing very often.” Dr. Sharon takes out the stethoscope and listens to the heart. “Hmmmmmmmm.” And again, “Ahhhhhemmmm. Yes I do hear the singing there as well. I’m going to take a little sample of your blood and see if anything unusual is there that could explain your high level of well being?”

The doctor leaves the room and returns an hour later with the report from the blood sample. Well, it’s there all right. You definitely have thankfulness running through your veins!”

“What? Would that really cause this euphoric feeling I am having?”
“Ythankful5es, you see, just like blood takes oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues and keeps them healthy, thankfulness takes life to your spirit keeping the “real you,” your spirit healthy and full of life. And keep in mind, another function of the blood is to carry away waste from the cells. Thankfulness will carry away negativity and flush it out of your spirit, just like blood carries the waste to be flushed out of your body. You are definitely doing the right things to build up your spirit by being thankful throughout your day. I highly recommend that all of my patients start the day being thankful. Thank God for every thankful6convenience and blessing you can think of before you get out of bed. I also suggest that you try to breathe in and out thankfulness all day long for everything you see and experience, for every person that is in your life and those you meet each day. Then start with the intangibles like love, joy, peace, and faith, and then take it a step further to thank God for all of his attributes. When your body acclimates to this new way of living, you will have a truly thankful heart.”

“This is great, Dr. Sharon. I think I am  having a major spiritual breakthrough here. Is there anything you can prescribe to enhance what’s going on here. I feel like I could live forever. ”

“Get plenty of rest and continue to take ten of Psalm 37:4 ten times a day, take the nutritional supplements listed below along with the Word of God as needed, and I believe you will indeed continue to live a happy and successful life.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:

be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 100:4

thankful4Click below to replenish your spirit with these “nutritional” supplements:

Increase Your Happiness Build Gratitude Chains

The Gratitude Chain

There is Always Hope!

doctor1“Hmmmmm.” The doctor looks into the patient’s throat.  “Uh, huh,” she mutters as she shines the light into the ear canal. And listening to the heart, she murmurs again, “Ahhmmmm.”

“What is it, Doc, is it serious?” the patient asks anxiously.

“Well, let me listen to your heart one more time. Ahhmmmm. Just as I thought. . .it’s your thoughts.”

“WHAT! Are you crazy? It is NOT my thoughts. I know exactly what I have been thinking, and it is NOT my thoughts. I have these terrible symptoms, and there simply is no way that it is my thoughts. My thoughts are my thoughts, and my symptoms are my symptoms. That is ridiculous. Where did you even get your license to doctor, anyway?”

The doctor glances over at her degree on the wall, raising an eyebrow, and looks back at the patient. The patient looks over his shoulder at the framed degree and then back at the doctor. “Well, maybe there was this one little thought that came to me this morning when I looked into my bank account. So what if for a moment I was wondering if we would have enough to make it until the next paycheck. Everybody does that.”doctor4

The doctor patiently requests, “Would you tell me your symptoms again, please”

“Well, I just started feeling down early this morning right after breakfast, and then it got worse. I felt overwhelmed, frustrated, and then outright depressed.”

“Hmmmmmm. And when was it you looked at your bank account balance?”

“Well, it was right after breakfast, but I. . .”

“I see, and what else have you been thinking about today?”

“Well, I haven’t been thinking about it, but my kids are in trouble, my kitten ran away, kitten2I may lose my job, and I’m not getting along with my wife, but I haven’t been thinking about any of that. Then of course, I did for a minute have a tiny thought about the situation in the Middle East and the state of the economy, and my football team lost again last night. Just because nothing, absolutely nothing is going right in my life, doesn’t mean I’ve been thinking about it. Tell me the truth, Dr. Sharon, am I going to die? Is there anything you can do for me?”

“Yes, you probably are going to die. . .eventually. And there is absolutely nothing I can do for you. I wish I could, and I wish I could do something for all of my patients.” Looking wistfully away, “I wish I could give every one of you clean and right thinking.”

“So, doc, there’s no hope for me, then?”

Dr. Sharon looks surprised, and her face brightens some, “Oh, there’s hope for you all right! Think about that for a minute. I’ll be right back.”

When the doctor returns with a diet coke, and one for the patient, she is greeted with a smile, “Doc, there is hope for me and there is hope for the world! My bank account is not completely empty, and my kids are going to be okay. I’ll put up posters to find the kitten. I’m probably not going to lose my job this week. My wife is a sweetheart, and she’s a good cook AND no more watching the news for me! I feel great! Doc, you’re a genius! Have a good day! I’ll see you at the racquetball club!”

Dr. Sharon rubs her chin, and shakes her head.

kitten 1Now sure enough, we are going to have some negative thoughts. Sometimes, there’s very good reason to have them. The kitten really does run away or something much worse happens, and you just can’t get your hope back. That’s what God is for. That’s why He gave you family and friends and His Word and fun, encouraging things to read. There’s always hope!

Have a really great day!

Sharon

Favor, Don’t Leave Home Without It

These inspirational sayings were inspired by the wonderful book called Favor, The Road to Success by Bob Buess. When I was blessed to be the teacher and principal of a wonderful Christian school in North Carolina, our class started our day by repeating these words together. They are in my heart, and I often go to sleep or wake up with them going over in my mind. They are scriptural; they are available to all of us who can accept them as true for us. God is only too willing to be there for us and with us if we but open our hearts and minds to Him. These are best said out loud once a day, every day until they become your beliefs because it is our beliefs, our faith, that God responds to.

                                                                           Favor

ImageGod favors me today.

God is with me today.

God is helping me today.

I am someone very special to the Lord.

Good things are happening to me spiritually today.

Good things are happening to me financially today.

Good things are happening to me in all my relationships today.

I am looking for ways to favor others today.

Today will be a great day because Jesus lives big in me today

And every day!

I have the mind of Christ today.

I have the mind of Christ today.

I have the mind of Christ today!