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Monday, April 18, 2011

Family Matters: Tearing Down Walls

Don't miss this upcoming program:
Building Better Relationships
Faith Baptist Family Resource Center
Faith Baptist Church
Corner of Alton & High - Freeburg
Wednesday, April 27
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Call 539-3434

Building Relationships...Not Walls

There are many ways we build walls in our families. Here’s a list and some thoughts on tearing down walls. If you want to learn more about tearing down walls, come to Faith April 27!

A wall is anything in our relationships that prevent us from connecting and enjoying each other. A wall can destroy interaction between parent and child.

God offers the ultimate means of tearing down walls.

The wall of “busy”ness.

“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm

As families, many of us are overbooked and overscheduled. Society pressures parents to sign their children up for everything, from gymnastics to soccer, t-ball to

Counselor Gayla Fields says that children need “down time,” as do parents. She recommends limiting the number of activities.

“If you find yourself running every night of the week, you are involved in too much.” She noted children need routine and a healthy dinner and bedtime.

If we are too busy, we do not talk. We miss opportunities to sit together, eat dinner together or have a family game night. Don’t build a wall of busyness in your life.

The wall of unforgiveness.

"How many times should I forgive, as many as seven?"  Jesus answered, " Seventy times seven."

Unforgiveness is common in marriages when one person hurts the other and forgiveness never comes. Soon a wall of unforgiveness and resentment is built between husband and wife.

The hurt party may not admit it, but they hold a silent grudge against their mate. It surfaces at different points and true one-ness as a couple cannot happen.

Forgiveness is a choice.  If Jesus chose to forgive us while hanging on the cross, we cannot withhold forgiveness of others.

The wall of disrespect.

We live in a time where respect is seldom displayed. Watch any television program and you will hear snide, sarcastic communication happening between husbands and wives and children and their parents. Respect is hard to find these days.

Respect is a choice. Bad habits of disrespectful communication can be broken when we decide to make an effort to speak with a positive tone and message.

Praise your mate and children. Point out their good qualities and decisions. Don’t nag and don’t always point out their mistakes.

Be careful not to let teasing control your communication. What may be harmless jokes to one person, may be devastating degradation to another. Know your mate and your children. Don’t hurt them with teasing.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Living a Life of Purpose

Here we are, back again to those final pages of The Purpose Driven Life.  I kinda hate to put the old book on the shelf!

Maybe I'll just place it on top of the "toppling" pile of books and devotionals that lays next to my bed.  At least then, when I pile them up after they fall over....I will see The Purpose Driven Life and be inspired!

Here are thoughts on the final chapter of the book:

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." 
 -- Proverbs 19:21

This Bible verse makes me think.  My mind is always buzzing with plans.  Lord, help me sift through and clarify -- which plans are YOURS? 

God has created us to worship Him and enjoy Him forever.  Let's start there.  That always helps us pause and take a breath...and even smile. That's relaxing and can help us focus.

Then we can evaluate by asking: "Where are you working, God and how can I join you?"

Today - a thought buzzes in my head: "Be available" -- I will, God.  Help me be available when you call.  Help me listen.  Help me know who to help.

The book noted: While you are shaped to serve others, even Jesus didn't meet the needs of everyone while on earth.  You have to choose whom you can best help, based on your shape. We are all shaped differently.

The young mom is shaped to serve those babies gathered so near.  It may seem hard, but it is a holy mission...only you can fill.

What shape are you in?  Has God placed you squarely in the middle of a storm?  You may be squirming, but, chances are, you have a divine purpose there.

Your purpose may not always make people happy.  Perhaps your purpose is to hold the line in a shakey culture.  You may have to alienate a few.  Now you know how Jesus felt.

It doesn't matter what people think of you.  What matters most is that you fulfill God's eternal purpose. 

We are not trying to please men but God -- 1 Thess 2:4b

If you're feeling persecuted because you have pursued your purpose - TAKE HEART!  Your reward will last forever:

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all." 2 Corin 4:17 

            Enjoy your life of you serve a GREAT GOD! 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Living with a Purpose

There are many "good" things you can do with your life, but God's purpose is something you MUST do.

It hit me today when I was driving to work:

Thank you GOD!

The sun is filtering through the budding trees. I live in a beautiful country setting. There is a crispness in the air.

My light and momentary frustrations are just that: light and momentary.

Bottom line...right now...right here...God wants me to enjoy what is already in my lap. How could I have overlooked this?

My purpose is to worship God and ENJOY HIM FOREVER!

I'll never forget what a precious friend told me when I was fussing and sharing worries with her:

"Are you just enjoying your Jesus?" she asked. --Good QUESTION!

I was glancing through the book, The Purpose Driven Life, yesterday. My eyes rested on this idea:

"How can you tell if you are not living a life of purpose? If you are not living a life of purpose, you are worrying."
WOWEE!!!!!! That hit me square in the face. BOY oh, BOY -- do I need to adjust my thinking.

I need to redirect all worry into meditation on the reality of Christ in my life!

That is a PURPOSE!

How about camping on a Bible verse:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." - Phil 4:13

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Phil 4:6-7

Well, I now have to start work. I'm going to print out that second Bible verse and start memorizing it.

This is a baby step to a PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE! -- Care to join me in that baby step today?

Let's start memorizing!!!!

Next: More on Living with a Purpose!