Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lighting the way VS cluttering the path

At work this past week I made the statement to one of my co-workers that I didn't understand how anyone could make it day to day without knowing God. I know that I would not like to try. She was quick to give me an answer. Three words: drugs, alcohol, and bitterness. and then the conversation began. She told me that she had not tried this 'Christian stuff' long. She had an aunt who was a Christian, and she seemed to be happy all the time like I was. (talking about me) She went on to say that she and her mother thought that when her uncle died her aunt would stop being so happy. They thought she would begin to grow angry and bitter. It surprised them both when she didn't.

 I told her that it was because as a Christian, her aunt knew her husband was with God. Her response was," Yeh that's what she said". I told her that her aunt's grief was a natural thing. Of course she would be sad, it was only natural to miss her husband, but if a person is truely a child of God, as it seemed her aunt was, the grief she had for her husband would not turn to bitterness. The Lord is there to comfort his own children through these times.

 More and more each day I realize I am being watched by those around me. Others are watching to see how I will react to not just the low times in my life, but also the happy times. As the gospel is being removed from public places: ie: prayer in schools, scripture from public buildings, mention of God in public gatherings, we as children of God are fast becoming the only light that the lost will be able to see.  Are we giving them enough light that they will be able to come to Jesus?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New year - same choices - new hope

Yes, I know the title sounds a little depressing. None the less, it is true. We do still have the same choices. Are we going to think before we act and make right choices that will lead to change, or will we follow the "status quo" as they say.

 It’s the beginning of a new year, the time to make resolutions for changes that we plan to put in our lives. Traditionally it is a time of hope. We know ourselves better than anyone else, and we know the things in our lives that need change.

Life is choices. These choices must be made over and over every day. Some of them over and over in a day. Even doing nothing is a choice that people make, although most of the time it is a bad choice to do nothing. But here are two of the choices people are making this year.

“This is the year I lose weight.”
It is the #1 resolution according to those who take polls of such things.
#2 in the polls is: “This is the year I will get out of debt.”

Both of these resolutions require a good deal of determination. But then that is true with any real change that we make in life; and these are real changes.
How do you follow through on a resolution to change your life?
For an undertaking like this you need a plan in place, something that you can refer back to and log your progress.

Sit down and seriously make a written plan of the actions you need to take to make these changes come about.

For instance: If you plan to lose weight, think of how you eat now, aside from the obvious that needs to be eliminated, like using food for recreation(sitting on the couch eating without tasting as you watch TV).
Think of diets that will suit your taste buds and your lifestyle. For example, my son-in-law calls me the “great carnivore” I love meat. So when I decided to go on a diet, I chose the Atkins diet because it let me eat the foods I already liked. I just had to stop eating the carbs.

I can go to a fast food restaurant, order a roast beef and cheese, ask for a fork and satisfy my hunger for meat. I just don’t eat the bread. To keep me from being tempted, I toss the bread before I sit down. When I am at home, I can eat salads covered in baked chicken, with all the vegetables that I love, and still not blow my diet if I watch my portion sizes. You get the idea?

Maybe you like chocolate- try the 3-2-1 diet plan on the Slimfast website. Just be careful of your sugar levels.
Where there’s a will there is a way.

Do you plan to get out of debt? Then sit down and look at your income, your bills, how much do you spend that isn’t necessary? How much are you willing to cut out? Can you afford to pay a little above any of your monthly bills each month? If so, in most cases the overage will be applied to the principal. When you cut down your principal on a note you are also cutting the amount of interest that you will pay in the long run. Check with your lender on this.
Most important is to stop credit card use!

As I said, where there is a will, there is a way. Gain control back of your life this new year. It can be done: one decision at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time. Next thing you know it will be a week of change, and a month of change. If you fall and make the wrong choice, don’t let Satan trick you into giving up. Get up and the next choice that comes along make the right one and get back on track.

May God Bless you in the choices you make this new year.