Tag Archive | intentional

Servant Heart

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This quote has been on my refrigerator for many years. I would love to give credit, but I do not remember when or where I first heard it. I do know that I heard it at a time when I needed such a reminder, because I was begrudging my duties. When one is in a position of service and the recipient makes demands  or takes the service for granted, the servant can easily lose joy in serving.

There have been numerous times throughout the years, when I needed to check my reaction as I served my family and others. Sometimes I would make a special dinner, but my hubby and children didn’t seem to even notice the extra effort and care I had put in for them. When we had company, my dysfunctional kitchen didn’t allow for much help from others. As I was working, I would be able to hear laughter coming from the living room. The laughter should have put me in a good mood, but  occasionally I allowed the opposite. I would allow myself to feel left out, missing the fun, while I did all the work.

Did you notice how many times I referred to “I” in the above paragraph? That was intentional, because when we are serving with a servant heart our thoughts and motives should not and will not be on ourselves. The Bible has much to say about serving God and others, and we are never told to serve for our own praise, recognition or advancement. Instead, we are told to serve each other humbly and with love.

All of you, serve each other in humility, for God opposes the proud but favors the humble. 1 Peter 5:5

…use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13

This little quote will remain on my frig door until I have it mastered. If you wonder if you  have a servant heart, think of your reaction when someone treats you as a servant.

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Deep Cleaning

For the past month you may have noticed I have been AWOL from blogging. What has kept me away? Oh, you know; just life in general such as work, a new grandbaby (and “BOY” is he grand!),

CAM00180and completing a remodel project that took twice as long as anticipated when I began tearing out all the pepto-bismol pink.

photoThis week, I have been DEEP cleaning trying to rid my house of the multiple layers of dirt and grime that came from the remodel and the lack of cleaning. From top to bottom and in nooks and crannies, the dust bunnies are doomed! They are being sucked into the sweeper and washed away.

This is also a great time to do some deep cleaning within oneself. Galatians 5 has the To-Do list already made for us.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.”

Cleaning supplies needed are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

  • Use LOVE to overcome hostility and envy
  • Use JOY to get rid of quarreling
  • PEACE will clean out jealousy and division
  • PATIENCE will sweep up outbursts of anger
  • Get rid of selfish ambition and replace with KINDNESS and GOODNESS
  • Wash out idolatry and sorcery with FAITHFULNESS
  • A good dusting of GENTLENESS will take care of dissensions
  • A firm scrub of SELF-CONTROL will get all the grimy stuff from sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, drunkenness, and wild parties

To really deep clean, we must not overlook the corners of our heart and the nooks and crannies of our attitude. Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s get started! Clean; clean; clean!

Sometimes There Is a Bigger Plan

I was visiting with a friend this week, and we were talking about all that has transpired in the past year or so in our lives. We’ve had some expected and some very unexpected twists and turns. She in fact is approaching a huge crossroad right now. Seeking my advice, I responded with, “I really don’t know what you should do IF _______ happens. I do know from my own experience that if I had known ahead of time where and what God was taking me, I probably would have said, ‘No thanks; I can’t do that; God, you have the wrong person.'” Sometimes there is a bigger plan up ahead just around the next bend that we can’t see now.

I have been challenged as I study the life of David: King David, Shepherd Boy to Man After God’s Own Heart. I have always appreciated David’s open honesty of his feelings especially in the book of Psalms. He shares the good, the bad, the ugly, and joyful praise to God. David does not stay angry or in the pit of despair. After he pours out his heart to God, he clings to faith and trust in God, giving “thanks to the Lord for His love endures forever.” (Psalm 136)

Following David’s example, we too must not let fear, disappointment or anger cripple us. We must work through these emotional responses. “O my people, trust in him [God] at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.” Psalm 62:8 NLT God knows and understands all our emotions and reactions. We may not know the outcome, yet we can intentionally choose to trust God, because He does know. We don’t have to know what is on the road ahead, around the bend, or beyond the hill to trust Him. God has a plan for me; God has a plan for you, and sometimes there is a bigger plan that right now we cannot see.

Be Careful What You Ask For

Patience is a virtue; catch it if you can.

Have you ever had a day that seemed like everyone was pushing your  buttons? A day full of stress? Did you pray God would give you patience? I’ve done that before, and it really didn’t make things any better. In fact, it may have actually gotten a little worse. My prayer went something like this: “God, will you give me patience today.”  I know, I know; some of you are wondering, “What’s wrong with that prayer?” Well, you didn’t read it in the right tone of voice. Read it again, this time with an impatient, exasperated, begging tone. “God, will you give me patience today, PLEASE!”

Over the years, I’ve formed an opinion about patience, and you may or may not agree with me. My opinion is that patience is not merely given; it is taught. (Pause and ponder if you must.) Would you like to know how I figured that out? Okay, I’ll share my enlightenment.

First, I must confess that I am a slow learner.  You see, each time I would pray my prayer of desperation the day would go from bad to worse. It would be one thing after another that would try my patience.  Like I said, I’m a slow learner so it took awhile for me to figure out what was happening. Then, one day, as if a light bulb came on, I realized the days that were filled with patience-challengers were the days I asked God for patience.

Once I recognized the pattern, I began trying to figure out why. I began to realize, I wasn’t striving to attain the virtue, patience. I was just wanting rescued when I was at the end of my rope. That’s when I recalled a phrase I heard over and over as a child. Practice makes perfect. To be a patient person, I needed practice. Whenever, I asked God for patience, He made sure to give me plenty of opportunities to practice.

Over the years, I have learned to attain patience, I must be teachable and willing to practice being patient. Now when I have a trying day, I try to remember this is my opportunity to practice this virtue. When I am patient, I show love. In 1 Corinthians 13 it says “Love is patient.”

Remember, be careful what you ask for. If you ask for patience, you will be given opportunities to practice.

“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”   Ephesians 4:2 ESV

To God be the Glory

Counting? What IS all this counting about? Counting One Thousand Gifts in 2013? Counting gifts of blessing from God, but NOT just to count. It is not all about me; rather it is all about GOD from whom all blessings flow. It’s looking closer, intentionally, seeking, expanding  my focus so I may see God in all things and glorify Him.

In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young has compiled personal notes from Jesus for each day of the year. The message for January 19 sums up what this counting is all about.

“Seek my face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible.  Let Me displace worry at the center of your being.  I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering Peace into the pool of your mind.  My Nature is to bless.  Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving.  This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world.  Glorify Me by receiving My blessings gratefully.

I am the goal of all your searching.  When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied.  When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life.  I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were alone.  actually, My Light shines on every situation you will ever face.  Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments.  Let nothing dampen your search for Me. 

Psalm 17:8; Philippians 4:7; Jeremiah 29:13″

It is usually quite easy to look around and see God’s blessings on the surface. However, I want to go beyond the surface. The tool that helps me is Ann Voskamp’s monthly list of gifts to look for.  With this list I must think outside the box and look beyond the obvious. Matthew 7:7 promises that if I seek I will find. Therefore, I am seeking. Seeking God’s face in things only seen up close, in a reflection or in the shadow.  Seeking God’s face when my life is calm as well as during the most turbulent times. Seeking God’s face so I may give Him all glory and praise.

If you would like a ready made list to help you start looking beyond the surface for God’s blessings click on this LINK.  It will take you to Ann Voskamp’s JoyDare list. Remember, it is not all about what God has done for me, but rather me giving God glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for the many blessings I may never have noticed before.

To God be the Glory!

2012 Glimpses of Blessings

2012 has been a year that I have intentionally looked for, took notice of, and gave God praise for His abundant blessings. It was not a year perfect in every way, yett even in the difficult times God was ever present. I welcome 2013 and can’t wait to see what God has in store. To God be the Glory!

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Merry and Bright or Blue?

Are you eagerly anticipating a holly jolly Christmas with everything merry and bright, or are you dreading a blue, blue Christmas? Madam Blueberry of Veggie Tales sings “I’m so blue-oo-oo, blue-oo-oo, blue-oo-oo, blue. I am so blue I don’t know what to do.”

So often in our hustle and bustle of shopping, baking, and celebrating we over look those around us who are having a hard-candy Christmas, barely getting through. Some may be very lonely and sad because they cannot be with their family. Others may be in the midst of a difficult time financially or struggling with their health. The empty chair of a loved one is yet another reminder that he or she has passed on forever leaving an empty hole in the lives of the family.

God loved us so much that He sent his one and only son that first Christmas so long ago. This year I’m looking for ways to share that love with others who may be dreading the holiday season. I’ve been brainstorming ideas: offer to help put up decorations, bake extra goodies and share, have a game night, Christmas carol, invite to be part of our Christmas day, stop in for a visit, call and visit, leave an anonymous gift on porch… Can you think of other ideas?  If so, please share a comment.

There are 25 days until Christmas and a whole month until we ring in the New Year, I challenge you to intentionally look for someone that needs their Blue Christmas turned to White, and then do something to share the Joy of Christmas.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. John 15:12 NIV