Who Are The Jones’?

Who are the Jones’ and why are so many people trying to keep up with them? Has anyone ever seen them? Been their neighbors? Was a cousin of? If there are so many people keeping up with them,  who do the Jones’ keep up with?

Although it sounds funny, its quite a problem for so many. There is this proverbial family, that no one knows and  has never seen, yet so many  people base their values,purchases and decisions solely upon this one “family”. mansion

The Jones’ don’t actually exist, but they somehow exist in the back of the minds of people that feel the need to keep up with them and their  luxuries ;their homes, their cars, their boats, etc. New Bentley Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification

Find out who you are. Why not stay within your means. Keep up with yourself. The most frustrated person is the one that is trying to create a “look”. The outside look. The one that says, see what we have? We may be unhappy, unhealthy, and falling apart, but at least we have this! Why not focus on good health,  a strong well being,  family and spiritual growth and development. None of which have to do with the Jones’.

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When it comes down to what’s important, its giving to others; being a blessing to those that may not have.  Asking God to use your hands and your voice for the greater good.

Take inventory of what’s important.  God has blessed us to be a blessing. Its not always the poor children in other countries… sometimes we could be a blessing right in our own backyards. There are so many among us, within our own countries, within our own families without shelter and daily comforts; that rely on the kindness of others for just one day or one night. homeless-shelter

And while we’re making sure our sons and daughters have the latest brands of sneakers, that cost 175.00 a pair, there are 2017-Hommes-Air-Jordan-Xx9-BlackTeam-OrangeBlack-Chaussures-Canada-695515005_13some children, that have to wear the same shoes all year long. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

May God continue to remind us of what’s really important. May we continue to love others as the scripture says:

Beloved if God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

God has a greater plan for each of us, and the Jones’ have nothing to do with it!

 

 

Contentment

Are you content in your life? Do you find yourself fully  immersed  in the busyness of your life?  Does hustle and bustle give you a sense of purpose?  When talking to people, do you find the conversation bending more to how much you have to do, rather than, how content you are? Do you feel guilty not doing anything?  Have you fallen prey to the  phrase,” just keep it movin'”?  After all, as long as you’re movin’ you don’t deal with your reality. Your reality could be a bad marriage, kids going bananas at school, you’ve got new health concerns,  home is in foreclosure, and the list could go on. With God, even those things that look bad, can be made better, but we’ve got to “still” ourselves in order for that to happen.

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46:10

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But have you ever just sat in your own space, and not felt guilty that you didn’t feel like doing anything ( laundry, checking emails, running errands, being the soccer mom or dad for the day? ) tv Continue reading “Contentment”

Finish What You Started

We’re seven months into the year. You probably started a new diet at the beginning of 2017. You were excited and you started it January 1st. By now, you’ve gone back to your old eating habits, thoughts ideas.  Maybe you took on a new endeavor? Started a new relationship?
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The truth of the matter is, there’s nothing wrong with finishing what you’ve started last year. Many people have great difficulty in finishing a thing; starting classes, starting diets, starting relationships, starting reading the word of God more, starting to listen more and talk less, but something happens midstream where they are not able to follow through with what they started, and then they start something new at the beginning of each new year.
What God starts, he finishes.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
The tragedy comes when something within that’s not the voice of God makes you believe you’ve got to start something new just because it’s a new year!
Finish what you started.
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The scripture says the work that was started was good- there are many endeavors that you started  that wasn’t good. You started it! It took up your time,  it even took up space in your thoughts. It was a work that wasn’t  orchestrated by God but you had to do something “new” so you started a work!  Now there’s two works going on within. And one of them won’t get the undivided attention of God!  But this work… the work that God has begun in you is good. It started out good and it’s going to finish good! Be careful of those naysayers, that make you believe that the more busy you are, the more in line with God’s will you are. Not so!
The work that was started in you is ongoing.
Jesus himself finished what the Father started…. he said not my will but thy will be done!
Finish what you started. Whatever that looks like for you. Don’t let 2017 go out and you’ve picked up something new to “do” for 2018. Ask God to help you “finish strong”.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help me to finish the things I start. Help me to stay focused on what you have planned for  my hands to do. Not my will, but your will be done . In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Thankful Sundays

Thankful

I’ve got so much to be thankful for . Don’t you?  If you’d like to share what you’re thankful for leave it here arrow Have an awesome Sunday!

 

Still In God’s Hands

Did you know that you were still in God’s hands? No matter what it looks like, no matter how “not like Him” we may be sometimes, no matter how unloving we may present ourselves, we are still God’s chosen vessels.  He’s chosen us for His purpose. He molds us, shapes us and reshapes us to suit Him and His plan for our lives! No matter what, you’re still a child of the Most High God!
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This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2“Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Jeremiah 18:1-4
We can’t blame everything that life brings us on the enemy! Look at the wheel! It’s just like life. Twists and turns, agitations, ups and downs, around in circles…. But its all apart of the molding and shaping process. Perhaps we should just accept what God allows. It’s difficult at times, it hurts, but its all apart of God’s plan.
 God will shape you for his purpose!potters-wheel
The text says the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred  in his hands… Did you know that you can be marred… messed up… and still in His hands?
Woe unto the believer that is trying to be in His hands perfected!  Woe unto the believer that is waiting to come to church once they have become the best vessel.
Guess what? You’re still in His hands!
Marred but you  have potential!
Marred but He has great things in store for you!
Marred but there is a ministry in you!
Marred but somebody must hear your testimony!
Marred but He put a great work in you !
Marred but you’re still in his hands!
The safest place in the whole wide world is in the will of God!
Stay in His will . Stay in His hands.

This Same Jesus

Why does Jesus have to be the same yesterday today and forever? After all, He is omniscient! He is Omnipotent!   And He is Omnipresent!
If Jesus is saying He’s the  same, it’s because everything else around us will for ever be changing. And because He knew that in our predestined lives before the very foundation of the world it was then therefore necessary  for him to state the claim that even when everything else changes around you, I WILL BE THE SAME!

Hebrews 13:8New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

There was a time in my life when I knew change was necessary. Change had to happen!  We don’t always  know WHAT  change has to happen but we know that change must take place. Although we know that change is inevitable we somehow lose our sense of security when we don’t know WHEN change will come. We don’t always know our place in change. We don’t always know how change will look on us. We don’t always understand why change has to happen. But we do know that change must come.
As a former exceptional education teacher, I taught students that  were on the spectrum. In my  classroom I had several areas sectioned off; one for quiet reading on a small area rug, a computer area, an area for playing table games etc.  It has been said that students on the spectrum often like things to be the same in their environment.  For some, that is a part of their nature.  Sometimes when they know ahead of time that there will be a change; be it, to their schedule or environment, it makes the change a little less difficult.
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One day, I decided to change things around  and one of my students came in the room and he said “Ms. Clark are things different”? I responded “yes they are”. He says” have things changed”?  With a smile, I responded, “yes they have”. As he looked around in a bewildered state …he then responded “is change good or bad”?  I said “change is good”. He went to his desk and continued in his day.   There were no other comments about change. He was able to follow his daily schedule because he trusted me. Change that day for him was good.classroom
God desires the same thing….He desires  us to trust him even when we can’t trace Him. Things may change around us, but HE is still the same!!!
The scripture says in Genesis 1 in the beginning God created the heaven and earth and the earth was without form and void. That void was there before he placed  light within that void . In other words,  a void will always exist until HE fills it!
As things change, we will either desire to fill the void that change has left or yield to the Christ. There’s one thing that I’ve learned as I interact with people and that is, there is an innate preference to have things  remain the same all the time.
When things remain  the same, there is a sense of control.  When things remain the same, life feels easy. When things remain the same, I can sleep better, because I have an expectation, that tomorrow will be the same as I left it on yesterday.
However, when things aren’t the same there is a defense mechanism that kicks into gear and causes people to latch on to something/ or someone that  feels constant. God desires to be that constant in our life!
Sameness presents a certain level of comfortability. Sameness is  predictable.
God desires that if ANYONE be constant in your life, let it be Him! He allows this void in our lives that only He can fill. He allows things to change in our lives so that only He could be the constant.
Sameness cultivates dependency!
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
vine and branches
Sameness cultivates trust
Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding
Today is where I  am right now with God.
Tomorrow/forever more,  is what my  faith hopes for from God.
My tomorrow becomes what was activated in faith in my today! So by the time I get to my tomorrow, God has to call it yesterday.
He is the same Jesus…yesterday, today and forevermore !
Because of this same Jesus.. I am saved by grace!
Because of this same Jesus, I’m born of the incorruptible seed.
Because of this same Jesus, I am redeemed by his blood.
Because of this same Jesus  I’m a new creature in Christ.
Because of this same Jesus I’m redeemed from the curse of the law.
Because of this same Jesus I’m  seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
Because of this same Jesus  I am now a part of a royal priesthood.
Because of this same Jesus  I am a joint heir in Christ Jesus.
Because of this same  Jesus I am crucified with him.
Because of this same  Jesus   I am alive with him.
Because of this same  Jesus  I’m free from condemnation.
Because of this same  Jesus I’m reconciled to God in him.
Because of this same  Jesus  I’m justified  by faith.
Because of this same  Jesus I am  victorious!
Jesus Christ is the SAME yesterday, today and forever more! Glory be to the most High God!

Do What You Heard

As a child, this phrase was very common in my household. It was always easier to pretend not to hear a thing and not have to do it, than hear it and have to do what I know I heard my parents say.
“Clean up that room”!
“Wash those dishes”!
“What are you doing in there” ?
“Hurry up, we’ve gotta’ go”!
“Did you wash your hands”?
All were very simple questions or commands, but when I was doing what I wanted to do, hearing what they wanted me to do required something  more of me!
When I eventually responded to my parents, it was always, “huh”, or “what did you say”? Upon which, my mom or dad would always respond, “do what you heard”. They seldom repeated themselves because most of the time, I heard them the first time.
Aren’t we as believers the same way? Acting as if we don’t know what we heard Him say? Most of the time, we heard Him the first time.
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Helen Keller , a well known American author, political activist and lecturer, was both blind and deaf. She has been quoted saying…
“…after a lifetime in silence and darkness that to be deaf is a greater affliction than to be blind… Hearing is the soul of knowledge and information of a high order. To be cut off from hearing is to be isolated indeed.”  Helen Keller
Hearing is one of the most necessary  senses that we could possibly have as human beings .  But when one has a hearing loss, they are cut off.

Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.” Helen Keller

 

Hearing loss is an invisible condition; we cannot see hearing loss, only its effects. Because the presence of a hearing loss is not visible, these effects may be attributed to aloofness, confusion, or personality changes.
church folksSo it can only be assumed that when one doesn’t do what they heard, it was because they didn’t hear it. Could it be that we have seen the effects of “hearing loss” in the body of Christ? Confusion? Aloofness? Personality Changes? Perhaps! We gather on Sundays, but immediately forget and can’t apply what we heard on Monday! Is it deafness or selective “hearing loss”? I wonder.
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. James 1:22-24
Before the writer talks about being a  hearer , he opens the  chapter from the perspective of the character of man. From the very beginning he is talking about a tried faith.. He tells us that we ought to count it all joy… when you fall into divers(various)  temptations.
What is a tried  faith? For some of us within the last thirty days our faith has been tried? For others, the last thirty minutes! Has your faith been on the auction block lately?
A tried faith, is when you know what the word of God says about a thing…you understand what the Word of God says about a thing, and then circumstances of life come…. In other words, Monday came.  Your tried faith causes you to put what you heard into action ! Your faith becomes tried, when what you do does not come into alignment with what you heard. And what you heard doesn’t seem to be applying to you! Your faith is being tried!
 tried faith
When your faith is tried… the real you comes out! Real character comes out! James is speaking to that person. He speaks about faith and not wavering. He speaks about double mindedness and temptation, being drawn away and lust.
 And then it says….But.. be ye doers… That just means YOU be a doer …
It’s something about being a doer that weeds out the masses of people in any line of work, or in any ministry . There are always going to be those that will “talk about it” and then those that will “be about it”.
The  chapter begins with count it all joy…when you fall into divers temptations… knowing this… That the trying of your faith worketh patience…
So then, there is something in me, that when I am drawn away, when I am tempted  stirs up an impatience within me, that doesn’t allow God to do what he has to in me. Patience has to be perfected. And perfection is only complete when that which is in me can be worked out!!!
Being a hearer and NOT a doer yields to self deception! You walk around removing yourself from what you heard thinking that it doesn’t apply to you. The word of God will always apply.
Being a hearer and not a doer is likened to a person looking at himself in the mirror, walking away and forgetting what he looks like.
Do what you heard!
If the word of God says love your neighbor … Love your neighbor
If the word of says don’t waiver.. Don’t waiver !
If the word of God says don’t commit adultery, don’t commit adultery.
If the word of God says be angry and sin not, don’t sin!
Do what you heard! When we do what we heard, God gets the glory,your work is blessed and God’s people are edified.
Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer, came, bled , suffered and died in order that that which needs to be worked out in us, can be seen through his eyes and ultimately as a reflection of Him.
Jesus is the ultimate reflection ! Do what you heard ! After all, Monday is still coming!

Use Words Wisely

  A Chinese proverb said – If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.
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Some time ago,  Paula Deen had to deal with the consequences of her words.There are words that are  heard in private and there are words that are heard in public.PaulaDeen-_MyWordsHurt_People_
But at some point the private words will be revealed in public places.
God used words in Genesis to create. He saw darkness upon the face of the deep and called it light. He saw dry land and called it seas! He used His words to create what was not to make it what He needed it to be!

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45 NKJV

I visited a young man in prison and his words have stuck with me to this day.Bars
He said,  “although I’m in prison, I am still free. I choose not to be comfortable where I am  I’m free in my mind, my spirit, my soul so I’m only a prisoner because of where I am, but I am not a prisoner within myself. If I got out today and had a heart attack I was never a prisoner, I was free”.
Matthew 12:36 The Message Bible (MSG)
There will be a time of reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
Think of things that you may have said ? Did it glorify God?
Did it edify his people?  Did it build someone up, or tear  someone down.  Our testimonies must be full and rich, filled with God’s  promises.
For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. 2nd Corinthians 1:20
Use your words wisely! Speak boldly of what He has done in your life!
Use your words wisely!  Let it be known that you  walk in dominion and authority; that your life  is characterized by faith in Christ Jesus!
Use your words wisely! The blessings of the Lord are 110919_michelle_obama_605_apmaking you rich and you’re living daily with his benefits.
Speak it!  You will maximize your potential and daily you’re moving toward your destiny.
Speak life because you walk in the timing of God!
You will not backslide or look back into your  old ways, old methodologies, or old strategies.
Your mind will be protected against all negative thoughts that try to take up residence.
You will walk in healing and sickness and disease are far from you.
You will continue to speak life and blessings over all children, over your  family, and over all of your affairs.
We are children of the Most High God! He has a plan and purpose for our life, therefore
WE will use our words wisely to build up our friends, our neighbors, our coworkers, and our family.
~Monday is still coming!