Thursday, January 26, 2012
DRIVING! Now this is an interesting thing to consider, really a "rubber meets the road" kind of application of our obedience and faith in God.
I'm ALMOST surprised to find my normally "sweet disposition" transformed into an angry road regulator as another driver does some ridiculous, rude or dangerous maneuver.
For example, I had just finished a great devotional study and then got in the car to get groceries when another car nearly ran me off the road because they didn't move over to allow me onto the freeway.
Instantly I laid on the horn for WAY longer than a normal "honk, honk," then finally passed the guy and threw my arm in the air as to say "what the heck? I have a baby in the car and you could have killed us!"
I was fuming mad at the danger he had put us in and then cursed by saying "You DING-DONG" (I know there is much worse, and I USED to say ALL of them! But God is good and is moving me from grace to grace, or from terrible profanity to a lesser form! Ha ha ha!)
Then, just as quick as I got mad and cursed the guy with my "ding-dong" remark, the Holy Spirit convicted me in my heart about the study I had been doing on blessing others.
That when we curse others, even with a "your-a-ding-dong," we have set a measure that will be measured BACK TO US. YIKES!
Look at the warning in James 3:5-10
See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! 6 And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8 But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
We are told NOT to bless and curse out of the same mouth (as we only have one anyway! ha ha ha!) But the REALLY disturbing part for me is the "sets on fire the course of our life" part. To think I could set my course of life on fire (not in a good way) for destruction and total ruin? It's SO not worth it!
Remembering this I prayed and asked God to forgive me and help me NOT curse. And to bless that guy driver.
And when we ask God to bless someone, we are essentially asking for God's will over their life to come to fruition. This is something we can ALL agree one (I think anyway:-) that we would want for every person we ever meet.
So blessing is always better than a curse, even when it's the LAST thing you FEEL like doing. Feelings are often wrong, but it's always right to obey God!
A VERY slow learner and your friend,
Posted by Tiffany at 10:03 PM
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
(delighting yourself in the Lord DOES NOT require a pink feather boa! But it sure can't hurt! ha ha ha!)
So I was recently asked this question, and thought it deserved a whole post!
Here is the scripture I'm referring to:
Psalm 37:4 “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
So how do we do this? Let’s start with the definition of the word “delight” according to Dictionary.com:
1. a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture: She takes great delight in her job.
2. something that gives great pleasure: The dance was a delight to see.
We can conclude that God wants us to take pleasure, BE happy in our knowing Him and that we have a relationship with our very Creator. THIS fact should bring us joy!
I like think of it this way, just as I want my little girl to be happy and take pleasure in having ME as her mom—-this fact brings great joy to MY heart. Nothing compares to having fun with her and to seeing her happy with the life we work hard to provide. It just makes me want to give her everything possible. I think God is the same with His children.
The following verse, Psalm 37:5, is “Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.”
This is further assurance that when we finally TRUST God with not only our eternal salvation, but our day to day life and various outcomes…He has promised to give us the deepest desires of our heart. And I think there is something spiritual that transpires here, when we submit our life to God, He then can work to bring out the “good work” He has already started in us and therefore the desires of our heart are molded into the right desires that grace will permit, not evil desires that we see drive the world to extremes that ultimately destroy them. But God will put right desires in our heart to want! That fit in His will for us! How cool is that?!
The fact that we actively seek our happiness in God, will automatically regulate our desires. It’s just another benefit that God gives us, we take one step in obedience and he helps us in that very area!
I guarantee that you can’t be happy in the Lord AND participate in evil practices. It’s like a teeter-totter, you’re either up with God or down with sin. The two can’t happen at the same time, just as the Bible says you can’t serve two masters.
And the blessing we get? Our innermost desires are met, the deep, prayerful, asking desires. That is God’s promise to us.
I also like to take a clue from David, who danced before the Lord with all his might! (2 Samuel 6:14). Turn up some good praise music and give David a run for his money! Ha ha ha!
And there are MANY verses that tell us to “sing to the Lord a new song” (Psalm 98:1). I think that God delights in our making a joyful noise (which is good for me because I can’t sing well AT ALL! It is more of a racket! But God doesn’t seem to care!) Ha ha ha!
I hope that clears the muddy waters…or at least gives you some good ideas as to HOW to start delighting yourself in the Lord. I want the desires of your heart to be granted to you from God! That is my prayer for all of you who are reading this!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:12 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
One of the best ways we can begin is to start talking to God, aka Praying. This is better than twitter and more instant than the fastest internet connection available! Why? Because as God is all-powerful and all-knowing, He actually knows what we will say even before we do. Some might ask, "well, why even bother telling or asking Him then?" And I've got a good answer. Because God desires to have a relationship with YOU! God desires to be close to His children.
I often think of my little girl, Sydney, in my attempt to see this from God's perspective. Now she's only 2 1/2, and she can't tell me anything I don't ALREADY know (at this point anyway!) but her little voice speaking to me just delights my heart in ways that nothing else ever has! And when she says "Momma" I will stop at nothing to get to her. That is how God views us, actually MORE as God is LOVE. Staggering to think about isn't it?!
Next is reading the Bible. It's essential to learning more of who God is, His faithfulness (you'll see it over and over again in every chapter and verse) and it's the only book the we can read and it's inexhaustible. Meaning people can spend their lives studying and deriving more and more wisdom from it's pages. Unlike ANY book I've ever read! It's truly LIVING WORD!
And as we do this, the Truth of Scripture will guard our hearts, fill our minds (instead of negative junk), and influence our life for the BEST. And by reading and studying the Bible, we learn God's ways, something He must teach us because His ways are higher, better and eternal.
The last suggestion I have is keeping a prayer journal. Mine is more like a Diary between God and I. As I write, it's always addressed to "My Father in Heaven," and it varies from pouring out my heavy heart, to specific things I'm praying about or for. And the most amazing part is looking back through the pages and SEEING how God blessed a situation, made good to come out of it, or straight up did something I wasn't expecting but it worked out better than the scenario I was hoping for! This will help build your faith in God, as our level of faith in Him determines the impact of our life---we can believe God for more than your mind can even imagine! Just think if you could have that kind of confidence in God--He is worthy of it!
I also know that whenever I seek to listen to Christian music, watch Christian tv programs or read a Christian publication--God ALWAYS meets a need, answers a question, or encourages me directly! So know that when you seek God, He answers! I am confident of this! This is also known as the "it was like they were speaking directly to me" sense we get when it's God answering us. That is my favorite.
I hope that you are encouraged, inspired to dig into God's Word and excited to gain all the wisdom God has for you!
James 4:8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Posted by Tiffany at 12:03 AM
Thursday, January 19, 2012
This might be one of the most emailed questions I get…so here I am going to address it.
So if you have found yourself in a dating relationship where you have had sex, which you know is wrong…but now don’t know how to stop and make the relationship honoring to God…this is for you.
First of all, if you have had ANY conviction that sex out of marriage is wrong then you are in better shape than most of the world! Most people think it’s ok, or even think they should have sex BEFORE because they don’t know if they will be “compatible” or not. But we don’t have to worry about “compatibility” because God has designed male and female to come together in a way that makes them “one flesh” and any preferences one might have can be part of the fun that first year of marriage. Sex is a rather basic act in the physical but it’s EXTREMELY complicated emotionally, spiritually and relationally.
Don’t believe me? Just ask someone who slept with their boyfriend and then they broke up, they will know that the pain from that separation was just as real as any other pain yet they never shed one drop of blood or broke a bone…but it’s a real pain from REAL emotional and REAL relational destruction.
Think of sex as fire. And when you have a fire in the fireplace of your home, it’s a wonderful thing—creating warmth, comfort and light. But take that fire out of the fireplace (which is marriage) and you have a fire on the floor in your house—BAD! It has become a dangerous thing to all who are in the home and to the home itself.
So what does one do when they realize they need to make a HUGE change in their relationship…and by the way they now “love” that person who is enjoying the fullness of the joys of marriage without actually BEING married. It’s kind of like stealing in my opinion- taking what isn't rightfully theirs (yet...or maybe ever).
So if you are here, it is time to talk to your significant other and tell them of 1) your Christian views that hold sexual intercourse as sacred and only for marriage 2) that you cannot continue in the relationship as you have previously 3) if they DO want ALL of you, then you need to have a RING and a WEDDING to make it all RIGHT!
This talk might even need to be the end of the relationship as you might find out that your boyfriend 1) isn’t interested in sharing your faith (total deal breaker anyway!) 2) doesn’t want to change anything because they are getting “all the milk for free without having to buy the cow” 3) perhaps is too immature to man up and leave his mommy and daddy and be a man.
All of those responses are EXCELLENT reasons to leave that turd in the grass and head out for God’s best for you! And in the next relationship, you can set the boundary FIRST that you won’t be sleeping with him and THEMS-THE-RULES. It’s always easier to keep a boundary that hasn’t been broken. You CAN re-establish a boundary but it’s extremely difficult and both people have to be in agreement. But it IS POSSIBLE.
And know that God can forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness, but repentance (which means a turning away) requires a CHANGE in behavior. God forgives and out of a sincere heart, we make a change to not continue in that sinful behavior --whatever that may be.
Remember that as soon as we get out ourselves in obedience to God, we can receive His blessing. God BLESSES obedience, not disobedience. So why not obey and get every good blessing He has in store! That’s what I’m talking about!!! Ha ha ha! I want EVERY blessing God has for me--I think it's okay to be greedy in this one instance! Ha ha ha!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:30 PM
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Who came up with the idea of “marrying” someone and then spending the rest of your life together? Is it merely a social norm? Is it “just a piece of paper” or all about the big bling on your fing? (finger- didn’t rhyme! Ha ha ha!)
So it’s always smart to begin at the beginning, aka Genesis. God made man, and after awhile, said it wasn’t good for man to be alone. He decided to make woman…
Genesis 2:22-25 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
So God started with just man, then noticed somebody was missing… woman. I like to think of woman as God’s final and crowning creation (hee hee).
Matthew 19:6 “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
And thus God instituted the marriage covenant. Biblical covenants were never to be broken and usually marked with a blood sacrifice. A foreshadowing of Christ’s death, His righteous blood shed so that we may be redeemed.
In the Bible, Jesus refers to US as the church –which is the bride. And Himself, Our Savior and King, as the bridegroom who will be returning to unite us for all of eternity! Wow! What an incredible parallel!!!
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…”
Once again we are given the comparison of marriage between husband and wife and Christ and the church.
And in the book of Revelation, that last book of the Bible that holds what is to come…we see again, the comparison of a wedding.
Revelation 21:2 “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.”
As we can see, marriage is God’s creation and also example for us as Christ is the bridegroom coming for us, the bride. These are not confusing, but rather complimentary and to be an example for what is to come.
So that is marriage. God’s design for one man and one woman, which is also a “type or example” of Jesus returning (the bridegroom) for the us (the bride). Incredible when you think about it right? I think so! We might even think a little higher thoughts of marriage when we connect what God has said about it to our view.
I pray that this blesses you, and that God further opens your heart and mind to His will for each of us and that His ways are wiser than ours and therefore we can trust Him completely as He has our very best interest at heart!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:26 PM
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
The problem with controlling people through your behavior is that 1) it's wrong and 2) it makes YOU captive to those negative behaviors 3) it's not very effective anyway. Ha ha ha!
So what do I mean? Take for example, my way of behaving when I felt I wasn't being treated fairly. I would NEVER come right out and say "hey, I feel like I'm not being treated fairly," but instead attempted to convince the person by my negative behavior that something was wrong and it happened to be their fault.
And as you can see, it's LONG shot to hope that someone might make all those connections and then come to me and say "oh, since you have been behaving as if you were hurt and haven't been talking...it must be my actions and my fault. I'm so sorry." FAT CHANCE!
But even thought I had to LIVE sulking, not talking or holding a grudge, it didn't stop me from hoping that the person would notice and then reach out to make amends. Do you see that I was the one who SUFFERED most? The other person most of the time had no clue that they had hurt me or offended me and therefore went on living their merry life.
So the bottom line? If you are hurt, feel wronged or offended...the worst thing you can do is try to punish/control/get them to repent, by negative behavior. It just makes YOU miserable. Trust me.
So what CAN we do? We can come to that person honestly and say, "what happened the other day really hurt me." But this is VERY difficult because our old pride rears it's ugly head and doesn't EVER want to admit that ANYTHING EVER hurts us.
The other choice we have is to take it up with the Lord. Tell Him how hurt you feel and then ask Him to help you forgive that person, and to heal your heart from the wound. Then you can go on and be FREE from the "hurt" (intended or not) and get back to ENJOYING your life!
This is much better, trust me. This way you stay in control--you don't have to be a slave to how well others treat you. This way you can have JOY, PEACE and HAPPINESS because that is the life God has intended for you! You can finally stop giving others so much control of you and you can stop trying to control others so much!
Life more abundantly, as the Lord promises us!
Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, But a broken spirit dries up the bones.
And TRUST in the Lord to be your vindicator, He is much better equipped than we will EVER be!
Psalm 138:7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.
Pink Fuzzy Slippers and a happy heart,
Posted by Tiffany at 10:13 PM
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It seems like most institutions and organizations fail to recognize that it was Dr. King's faith that was at the heart of the extraordinary life he lead. His call for justice was guided by his Christian convictions.
His faith in evident in all that he did, with the successful end of the Montgomery bus boycott, King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in order to take the civil rights struggle and his nonviolent message throughout the South.
He also insisted that civil rights participants be guided by Christian principles. For example, volunteers in the Birmingham campaign were required to sign a "Commitment Card" that read in part:
I HEREBY PLEDGE MYSELF--MY PERSON AND MY BODY--TO THE NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT. THEREFORE I WILL KEEP THE FOLLOWING TEN COMMANDMENTS:
MEDITATE daily on the teachings and life of Jesus.
REMEMBER always that the nonviolent movement in Birmingham seeks justice and reconciliation-not victory.
WALK and TALK in the manner of love, for God is love.
PRAY daily to be used by God in order that all men might be free.
SACRIFICE personal wishes in order that all men might be free.
OBSERVE with both friend and foe the ordinary rules of courtesy.
SEEK to perform regular service for others and for the world.
REFRAIN from the violence of fist, tongue, or heart.
STRIVE to be in good spiritual and bodily health.
FOLLOW the directions of the movement and of the captain on a demonstration.
A few of my favorite quotes from him:
"Faith is taking the first step, even when you don't see the whole staircase."
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it."
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
This link has a more interesting and in depth look at Dr. King, I hope you enjoy it as I did :-)
I thank God for the man of Martin Luther King, Jr. And the extraordinary faith, perseverance and history changing good that his works accomplished. I can't help but wonder if we all went in faith and pursued the things that God has planted in our hearts...what new shape would this old world take?
We all have a greatness planted in our hearts, it's just whether or not we will trust God enough to pursue it!
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
God bless your socks of this day and always!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:10 PM
Thursday, January 12, 2012
This is something that does NOT come naturally to me, in my small and greedy ways, I tend to want to hold on to most of what is mine and only share what I don’t want or absolutely need!
I admit that my natural tendencies are flawed, sin-prone and generally VERY ugly! So what does a gal do? Look to the GOOD BOOK! God gives us a LOT of instruction in this particular area…thankfully!
Proverbs 11:25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
WOW! What a wonderful promise. God just doesn’t tell us “share or else.” But he is a God who delights in rewarding obedience, He promises us that when we give freely that He will prosper us.
Dictionary.com defines PROSPER: to be successful or fortunate, especially in financial respects; thrive; flourish.
Who wouldn’t want that? You’re nuts if you say no. And I mean walnuts, pecans, filbert—even! Ha ha ha!
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Just more encouragement and warning that our actions in regards to what we give MATTERS to God. He is watching to see if we are hoarders or generous givers. God cares about these details, they are signs of our heart condition and honestly, our level of trust in Him. God even specifies the attitude of our heart when we give. “…God loves a cheerful giver.” So don’t think you can “cheat” by giving with a grumpy attitude in your heart. I think God rather we just keep (whatever it is) in that case!
I hope this spurs you on to give generously of your time, talents and financial blessing too! Rest assured that God will see your obedience and your cheerful heart and send you blessing that cannot even be quantified (but sometimes it can!)
2012 is my year to give more of all God has blessed me with and to do it with a cheery disposition that would make Polly Anna jealous! Ha ha ha!
Give, Giver, Giviest,
Posted by Tiffany at 10:55 PM
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
I'm someone who needs a LOT of reminding to stay on track with my goals and things I'm working on. So here are a few of the "helps" I wrote down for myself to get through those times when temptation was greatest--at night and any stressful event.
I hope you find one that helps you too! Or maybe mine will inspire you to come up with even better ones! And please share them back (if you are comfortable) because I know that if something helped me, it might help someone else!
1) I know and believe with all of my being that I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength!
2) Learn to play music more enchanting than the lies of Satan that say you are "lonely, unloved, and there will only be tonight." Remember that tomorrow is coming and the decisions you make tonight (to binge or not) will make tomorrow BETTER if you can make it ONE night without binging.
3) I can lose all the weight I want and still keep my cherished values.
4) My body is was created to move and not sit still. That's why I engage in one activity at least 15 minutes a day. I am happy there are NO RULES for the activity.
5) Be KIND to yourself. Give yourself time. It took you a while to put on the weight and it will take time for it to go away.
6) A little exercise now will always make you LOOK better, FEEL alive and steady your EMOTIONS.
7) Be dynamic instead of desperate!
8) Because I love what you are becoming, I will never medicate you with food again.
9) Learn to laugh at irritants.
A lot of how we perceive life depends on how we choose to see things.
An approaching storm can either be amazingly beautiful or terrifyingly frightening. It all depends on one's attitude toward storms!
God bless your every effort as you work to overcome whatever the challenges are that you face, eating disorder or whatever!
Huge love and hugs,
Posted by Tiffany at 10:04 PM
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
A very startling question: what if your son married a girl who treated him like you treat your husband?
Aahhhhh. I heard that question posed and I just about fell off my seat. My little brain felt like it was trying to compute string theory! Ha ha ha.
This question, even though I don't have a son, made me think about how a I treat my husband and how I would want a son, if I had one, to be treated by HIS wife.
I know some gals, think "he should be so lucky." But I'm not one of those gals, I think of all the short comings, bad habits, rude behavior, hurtful and manipulative things I have done and still do (even thought I'm working on it!) and my heartbreaks. I don't want to be like that. This is the man I love after all!
What most of us gals fail to realize is that the big burly man you've got actually has a tender heart in there and it can be damaged and relinquished away from us if we aren't careful with it. This is VERY hard to understand for us gals, as we go through detailed lists in our heads of things that our guy can improve upon--and we are there to point them out. Most of us don't do this maliciously, but on more of a "I'm invested in you and want to make you the best man ever" type of thing.
But men take this as an attack on who they are and it feels like the most disrespectful thing on the planet to them. After all, no man would do that to another man in the way we gals wish to "improve/correct/make better" the man in our life.
And the funny thing, is that we would NEVER dare do this when we are trying to GET the guy. Of course we would OVERLOOK any default and see only this "great guy." And in that time of new love, they guy feels respected and energized by your attention and devotion. But then you get married and as every good woman is a "home improvement" expert at heart...we naturally go to work at "improving" our man and our marriage relationship if we feel it's not up to par.
This is SO dicey! We have to be aware of how we speak to our hubby, that it isn't dripping in disdain, disapproval, or even hatred. Which can build with time as hurts go unaddressed and feelings of resentment mount up. But our choice of tone can be be a sure fire way to get him to stonewall and leave us to talk to the curtains instead of him! No woman wants that! The silent treatment feels like suffocation to the woman in marriage.
So what DOES work? I refer to my horse training years here, and when we had a very difficult horse, we would praise him twice a much when he did something right and reward him right away. That actually was part of a positive association method that worked wonders!
I suggest this method instead of approaching "correcting" your man with negative and possibly marriage damaging verbal attacks. Test it out, be pleasant and praise him for the things he does right. He will keep coming back for more, rather than retreating from you and your hostile "attacks" as he perceives them. And you might even restore communication that has diminished.
I suggested telling him that there are quite a few things that you admire in him ...I bet you a dollar that he'll track you down and ask you "like what?"
You have just been given back a little access to his heart so tread lightly. Tell him the good stuff and don't add BUT's.
Think of the choice we all have, to be our man's crowning glory, or like decay to him...we have a very powerful role as a wifey! And learning to use our position and power wisely will prove to be a benefit to the whole family unit!
Proverbs 12:4 A wife of noble character is her husband's crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.
I pray for blessing on your marriage and if your not married, for blessing on the marriage you'll have in the future!
PS: my favorite song on this topic is John Waller "Marriage Prayer" --it's EXCELLENT!
And they lived happily ever after (with God and some work) ha ha ha,
Posted by Tiffany at 11:10 PM
Monday, January 9, 2012
But what IS faith? Some people might even try to argue that they “have no faith.” But I think we ALL have to have SOME level of faith to even live this life.
Think about this small example of a crosswalk. There are cars (all potentially lethal weapons) stopped merely by the pressure from the driver’s foot on the break. Then, we step out in front of multiple vehicle’s that could run us over by even the slightest mistake of the driver and kill us at any moment.
That’s faith in someone we’ve never met, never seen or probably will ever even think about.
We have FAITH in random people, but struggle to have FAITH in a God who loves us and sent His only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to die in our place. God has already done more for you (and every other living person) than you or I could possibly imagine. His love offer stands as He sees His own creation boast that “God doesn’t exist” or claim “I only have faith in myself.” And God being Righteous, gave us all free will when He created us—the choice to choose Him or deny Him. Think about it, the purest love is not one that is forced to do so, like an arranged marriage, but rather a love that is ignited and draws one another toward each other because of the DESIRE, not REQUIREMENT.
But you might still be wondering what exactly FAITH is…and here’s the best description I’ve ever found.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
We can be even more sure of God and His promise to give us each a HOPE and a FUTURE (Jeremiah 29:11) than the six cars and drivers we put our faith in whenever we cross the street!
So how do you find out the promises of God? Pick up a Bible, it’s FILLED with them! Every time you read it, mark down the verses or highlight them and start claiming them for your life. Say them out loud and pray with them in mind as you seek to draw closer to God.
One of my favorites:
Psalm 144:15 Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the LORD.
I can be blessed just BECAUSE of my little faith in the true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! I’ll take that kind of easy blessing all day!
God bless your socks and slippers off!
Posted by Tiffany at 9:16 PM
Sunday, January 8, 2012
At different times in my life, I felt as if I would never make it through. When I was in high school, it seemed as if I would never make it out. Then college days came and I thought I'm never going to graduate, what if I fail my classes and have to take them all over again? And through both of those times I was always wondering, will I ever find the "right" guy? What if never find him? And then you begin your career and wonder, how will I climb the corporate ladder? Will I ever get beyond this secretary type stuff? And what about Mr. Right? Where's he? Then you get married and it's work some days--then you wonder, did I marry the right guy? Then you get pregnant and wonder if you will make it through childbirth? You do, and then you think, will I make it through all these sleepless nights and endless diapers? The list goes on and on, endless questions to answers we just don't get "up-front."
So what is the best method since it appears that we can live most of our life in this stage of perpetual stress about if we will make it or not?
Trust me in this...you have to put all of that worry and stress into the only capable hands...the hands of Jesus Himself.
He even tells us in Matthew 11:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest..."
I've found that I will pray and relinquish a worry or stressful situation I'm carrying to God, but only to snatch it right back and keep trying to "figure" it out or make it work as I want it to. This is NOT trusting God with our life and our problems.
Truly trusting is praying and give the problem or need over to God and NOT grabbing it back. When your little anxious mind wants to mull it all over one more time, say NOPE! Think of it like a box, tie a big ribbon around it and don't open it and look in the box anymore. Just say, "that one is for God to untie!"
So WHY can we trust God with our problems and our deepest heart's desires? For one, He is motivated by His unconditional love for you. And when we seek Him first, He is already at work on our behalf. And the verse that really gets me excited, is that God promises to open the windows of heaven to bless you as you obey Him, then He will absolutely do so. Why? Because God never lies or changes as other people do.
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
And look at me, after all of those transitions of life, I'm still here. I've made it and with God on my side, you will overcome too and be able to live with exciting expectation because you know the God is with you no matter what!
Never let the devil tell you that you are already defeated! The only person the devil can defeat is the one without a relationship with God. We are victorious in Jesus because He was victorious first. And now we get to claim that for ourselves through Him! Talk about an easy win!
I'm praying this verse over every person who reads this post, Psalm 20:4-5 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests.
Fuzzy Slippers and a steaming mug of peppermint tea,
Posted by Tiffany at 11:32 PM
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I just read an interesting study on the human imagination, it showed that 50% of all medical students displayed symptoms of the very disease they were studying!
Wow?! That just goes to prove that what we concentrate on most and what we put our imaginations to work on...IS a powerful aspect of who we are.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as one "thinks (ponders) in his heart, so he is."
And this one from Job 3:25, "The think I greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded had happened to me."
What we THINK and IMAGINE matters. Daydreaming isn't harmless, but rather very powerful and needs to be used wisely! So what do we think about since it's so powerful and can really bring about either positive or negative outcomes?
Slap those lazy and negative thoughts into shape by testing them against God's Promises and His Word in the Bible.
This is what I do, if I have a particular area in my life that I'm struggling with, I find God's promises and start meditating on them, committing them to memory and using those promises when I pray and talk with God.
Example: In trials, I sometimes need some reassurance of the goodness of God, His faithfulness and that He DOES have a good plan for my life.
So I have made these verses a part of my day by putting them on Post-It notes and speaking them out loud as I go about my day.
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (NIV)
Proof that God didn't forget me, but holds all good things and won't change His mind and not love me from day to day.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (NIV
Proof that when we love God, He can make even the worst situation come out with a good ending. Only God can do THIS kind of miracle!
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (NLT)
God has a good plan for your life, we only have to trust His promises and believe Him more than what our circumstances are screaming.
God has given us such an amazing ability in the design of our mind, will and emotions. But we should expect to be a little more than amazing when we are all created in His Image.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..."
We are His design, but it's up to us to realize how powerful His design can work for OR against us! Let's harness this INCREDIBLE imagination and get all of the good out of it that it can produce--by setting it to think on the promises and healing Words of God.
God bless your socks off! Imagine that! hee hee!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:35 PM
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
I can already tell this is going to be a HUGELY shared post! Ha ha ha!
But seriously, there are some specific things that we can unknowingly do that will strangle our life and the joy the God has meant for us to have. It's called..."staying mad at every single person who you think hasn't treated you right."
I can personally guarantee that this specific thing will indeed make you and your life miserable, because I DID exactly that. I keep mental records of every wrong done to me by everyone from my mom to my boss. I sincerely believed every one of these wrongs, should be made right and with interest. I typically moved that person to the "banished" zone until they made enough apologies or did something to redeem themselves in order for me to allow them back into my life. It's very controlling. And rather ugly.
But what I've learned, and sometimes I have to have a refresher on it...LOVE KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONGS (1 Corinthians 13:5). And that I, personally, need to forgive quickly AND often. Even the same ding-dong who keeps doing the same things that cause me to be offended, angry or hurt. This is MAJOR WORK. And to be able to forgive, is a sure sign of spiritual maturity.
And there is blessing in forgiving. It's FREEDOM for the offended. Most people think "staying mad" is a way to be in control or power, but it's not. It's like a strangle hold, but on yourself. Most times the other person suffers very little, and the offended person suffers the most. So why hold on to something that only hurts you, and rarely--the person who hurt you?
And there are some FABULOUS rewards for forgiving as God has called us to do.
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
I know I want God to forgive me of all the dumb stuff I do, so it makes sense to take Him up on this deal.
I get a lot of emails that people say "this or that was unforgivable" and even one email was so emotionally difficult that they said they could never forgive this one person because they killed their brother. Talk about intense. But even at taking the life of a loved one, God suffered that loss Himself when Jesus was crucified on the cross. And Jesus, even asked for the forgiveness of those who were carrying out the murderous process of crucifixion. That's our example. My little brain nearly short-circuits as I try to grapple with that level of forgiveness.
I remember reading a book by Corrie Ten Boom, "The Hiding Place," and she actually witnessed her sister being raped and beaten while they were prisoners in a concentration camp during Hitler's Holocaust. Here's the really incredible part, that they very guard who did those things met her years later, and she FORGAVE him!
Now that is called forgiveness of steel! My forgiveness is whimpy like a wet noodle...I hope to have the spiritual maturity and strength of Ms. Ten Boom.
Well, I hope this had encouraged you to forgive in more ways than you thought before, and more often than you have in the past. Even if it's the same person you have to keep CHOOSING to forgive over and over again, it's worth every effort.
If Jesus forgave, we need to follow His example. He is the King of kings afterall...and I've always wanted to be a princess. We might as well start acting like His sons and daughters both by name and action.
(PS: this is not for someone who is physically abusing you. You need to get out and away from them. And yes should forgive them, but it's not wise to stay in a physically dangerous place. Forgive from a distance.)
God bless your socks off as you forgive! And I pray that God expands your territory and brings abundance into every area of your life!
Posted by Tiffany at 11:17 PM
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
I would have never dreamed of ordering my “boyfriend” around like a little child. For one, I would think he would have hated it and ME for treating him that way. AND it’s not very romantic! I think most of us gals want a manly man, so what am I getting at?
Once a woman becomes as mother, her whole view of the world changes. We are charged with the task of correcting, directing, disciplining a little person 24/7, unless you do the day-care thing, then it’s 23/7. Ha ha ha!
But our entire view of the world changes and so does our view of our man. He was once this hunk of burning love that you’d just about stand on your head for and then after children, it’s VERY tempting to move him over to the “just another one of my kids” category and order him around and treat him like your 3 year old. After all, he never seems to know what to do for the baby and you DO have to give him a lot of instructions! Ha ha ha!
I honestly believe most women never even realize they are doing this, it merely seems like their mothering responsibilities have extended to their husband and they just keep on mothering. But that is NOT very sexy, and it’s down right disrespectful to the very marrow of your man’s bones.
No one wants a man-baby, so maybe don’t treat him that way and he won’t actually BECOME one. This is tricky! But the effort it takes, will payoff a thousand fold in your marriage and level of happiness you have with your once- Prince Charming!
Try to daily separate your man from your children by defining who he is and thanking him for it.
If he goes to work everyday and provides for your family, tell him how much you appreciate his dedication and his provision for your family.
Tell him you believe in him and the God given abilities that he has. This will do more for him than you will realize and you might even get the partner that you once had back!
Who can respect a baby-man? No one. If you want your husband to feel that he can take on the world and win, treat him like it. At the end of the day, you do want a dragon slayer--don't you? Yes indeed! (Hee hee).
The Bible even tells us pretty clearly in Ephesians 5:33 “So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (NLT)
If we want a man, we’ve got to respect him as one. But what if yours has little to respect, well, I suggest starting with the smallest thing you can think of and praise him for that. He might turn back into the man you once respected when you were dating! It’s worth a try!
Life is full of tricky navigation, blind trust and some big bumps in the road—but the wise will come out a better woman than she began!
This is only one lesson I’ve learned, I’m sure there are a trillion more I need but I pray that my little lesson blesses you and your marriage or perhaps your “future” marriage. Just file this information away until then ;-) ha ha ha!
Posted by Tiffany at 10:43 PM
Monday, January 2, 2012
I think we all have some pressure of sorts to make a resolution to DO something or NOT do something anymore as a new number flanks the date.
I used to come at the New Year’s Resolution tradition with an all or nothing kind of view. I would make resolutions that were so rigid, like NEVER eating dessert again or working out EVERYDAY for an hour. Then, when life would inevitably make one or all of my “resolutions” nearly impossible, and I would have to break them—it was followed by total frustration, depression and even anger towards myself.
Then I learned that a good choice or change can be made not only on January 1st, but daily, even moment by moment. And actually, that flexibility to adapt to make a better decision regardless of the situation was a SUCCESSFUL kind of resolution. It allowed life to interrupt my well laid plans, yet allow me to not to fail, but to remain in an agile type of position. I was able to CHOOSE the best of the available choices, not just freak out because my “perfect” option wasn’t available.
For instance, I didn’t have the full hour I wanted to work out, but had only 20 minutes instead. Normally, I would freak out, even binge because I wasn’t able to complete my goal of an hour. But remaining flexible, I said, “ok, I’ll make the best used of this 20 minutes that I DO have.” It sounds so silly, but it has really helped a person like me, who struggles when ANYTHING doesn’t go as I have planned. And by the way, life never goes exactly as I plan it (you’d think I’d get used to it by now!) Ha ha ha!
What I’ve learned, this very minute is the best time to make a better choice. You don’t have to wait for January!
Remember the willow tree, she bends and sways with the wind. And then there is the oak tree, unyielding and breaks under the strain of the wind. The flexible rarely break.
So as you look toward this New Year, I pray that you allow room for you, life and for ultimately, God to move in your life to produce His best plan for you!
I pray for healing in your heart, mind and body. Restoration and reconciliation with God and with any strained relationship you might have. And lastly I pray for God’s favor to be upon you and for Him to prosper you in 2012!
Posted by Tiffany at 9:35 PM