Let Them See You

It is really easy to go along in our day not thinking about how our attitude, words and actions effect those around us.

What do they see when they look at us and see us in action?

I hear music frequently throughout my day at work and today I walked into another department playing a popular national Christian music station. Mind you I work in a secular health care facility. On the radio a song by JJ Weeks was playing…. Let Them See You.

Please make the opportunity to find it and listen.

I stopped and sang along quietly. As I sang and listened to the words my heart broke. I asked myself, in my actions and words today, are people able to see God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit in me? Was I walking in the Love of God or was I grumbling? Was I blessing or was I cursing? Was I seeing the good or only the bad? I cried in the elevator on my way back to my own department.

We need to stop and evaluate ourselves, our thoughts, words and actions. At work or at home is God visible in our lives or are we walking by the world’s standards. Are we pointing people toward God or away from Him, especially those who are closest to us, our families?

My prayer: “Let them see You in me…”

Daddy’s Little Girl

All children need a daddy or solid father figure. Daddies with daughters have a special responsibility.

I was talking with a friend at work recently about the importance of both parents in a family. She made a statement to the young dad in the room, how she said it, was so profound I asked her if I could post her comment.

She said, “As a Daddy you need to dance with your daughter, tell her she is beautiful, treat her like a princess because she will one day drag home a boy just like you.” Wow…. This is a truth that too often dads don’t understand in their own youth and ignorance regarding their daughters.

Because girls, as they grow up, need to know what qualities to look for in a man and in turn what to avoid. Be the example that they see and experience, so they can recognize the good and right for themselves as adults. This not only applies to girls but to our young men. They need to know how to treat a woman, how to be a gentleman, and find a woman that will allow them to be a gentleman.

Manners, etiquette and respectfulness is something that our culture is convincing our young people is outdated, passé and unnecessary. Wow is all I can say to that.

We want our children to have strong and safe relationships. They need to know what that looks like. The example we set in their childhood will make a deeper impact than anything we tell them later. Now we also need to understand that we can only do what we can do. As adults, it is up to our children to make good decisions using the training and wisdom they got as a child.

LET’S BE INTENTIONAL

Good afternoon friends,

Being intentional is key to any relationship, especially marriage.

I had a friend come into town after she had moved away 20+ years ago. Even though we were great friends in the day, we both really neglected to stay in touch for what ever our reasons were at the time. We each had thought about each other but did not act. Time passed by so quickly with all the life altering things that we had missed.

All too easily, this type of thing happens with our spouse. It seems silly to say when we live in the same house, but without being intentional our spouses can become distant, feel like we have “grown apart” when in reality our priorities got out of order or we got lazy and neglected our relationship, for what ever the reason or excuse.

We often are very busy in our daily lives, jobs, kids, extra activities that under normal circumstances are fine and dandy. But when we lose track of the hours, days, years, our relationships suffer.

To think about loving our spouse is great, but it is the action that matters. They need to know they matter to us. They need us to pour into their “love tank”. Warning! If we don’t, someone else will and that is a whole other conversation for another time.

If you have never taken the “Love Language test” by Gary Chapman, I highly recommend it. The just of it is that we each feel loved or receive love differently, and it takes being intentional to help your spouse feel loved. This can be a tool for all your important relationships, for he has written a book on this topic for each relationship type.

What about your relationship with God, have you neglected Him? With God as our source He has an even higher priority. This relationship, will pour out onto all other relationships including and most importantly our marriage. We must be intentional to make time for and to invest time with God, seeking Him, in prayer, conversation, thoughts, reading the Word (the bible) etc.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

You may need to pull the weeds in your life. Some things may look pretty or are just plain opportunistic, having watered them they are overgrowing your life garden. Evaluate your priorities God, spouse, children, job and then extended family, ministry, etc. and limit or remove the things or relationships that are stealing your time and energy. It is important!

Take and make the time to be intentional and invest in God, for He will not leave or forsake you (see verse Deuteronomy 31:6, and Hebrews 13:5 in the bible no matter the version), and He has better for you than you could ever want for yourself ( read Jeremiah 29:11).

Invest time and energy and being intentional in your marriage, that it will last a life time.

Are You Busy?

Good Morning our Friends,

Whew! This has been a busy week. Here it is Friday already and I have a list of things unfinished.

“Busy”… I used to think that was a good thing, but now I am not so sure. My understanding of busy was that it was the opposite of bored and that bored was bad, idle hands and all.

I think it’s wrong in my case. Being busy can be a distraction from what important.

I can’t do this, that or the other thing because I’m too busy doing something else that isn’t as important as but easier than something else. It may be only an excuse to delay something more important that I may consider to be unpleasant or more difficult.

Mmmmm, wow, ouch… is that true in your life too. I will save “right order” and “wasting vs investing time” for another post.

Some of these distractions are delaying the blessings of God, keeping us from doing the things God prepares us to do.

Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

I feel like a kid that my dad gives me a direction and I respond.. “Yeah, okay, after I get these other things done” that I think are more important. Meanwhile, after I get my “more important” things done, I missed the trip to the treat shop for ice cream with my dad. Now I think to myself, “my response should’ve been, Yes and get it done.”

Distractions can be used by the enemy to keep us from God’s best because satan will use any foothold, whether a crack or cavernous void, that we make available to him. Much of the time we don’t realize that we are doing it until we miss the bus.

Ephesians 5:15-17 “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (NIV)

Colossians 3:23 “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward, It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (NIV)

But God, loves us so much. He knows our heart and is actively pursuing us. His will and timing are perfect. If God says “now”, now is the best time for the best result.

He will give us more opportunities but will also allow the consequences of our decisions to put it off.

I recommend that when God gives us a job to do, no matter how small or large, we trust his direction and respond yes, and act on it without hesitation. As we act swiftly, God will hold the bus for us because He knows the benefit at the end. Let’s get on that bus together!

Don’t Get Distracted

Good Morning Friends,

We hope all had a magnificent Independence Day, enjoying good company and stayed safe.

We also want to take a moment to thank ALL who have given of themselves that we all may enjoy the freedoms we have today. Also honor to those who fight and have fought to restore and or maintain our Christian heritage in this country.

The enemy, would have us be distracted. Anger, bitterness and apathy makes it easier that as the thief, to kill, steal, destroy and divide to conquer families, communities and country. After all, by the Spirit, the family is where we should learn and practice love, joy, peace, patience and perseverance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

I was listening to a song on the radio this morning, “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns. The truth in the words are like a knife to those who dare to listen. “Be careful little eyes what you see, be careful little ears what you hear, be careful little feet where you go”… How do we protect our children, ourselves and our communities and country from the evil that deceives us and slowly steals our innocence, peace and joy?

Too often our families suffer with generations of dysfunction to the point we don’t know what we don’t know. When will we put our foot down and scream out “WE MUST STOP THIS INSANITY”, and call out to God? We must make a conscience decision to stop the dysfunction and remove ourselves if others insist on continuing. The lies and deceptions of the enemy have us convinced that life will cease if we stand up for right. “It might hurt someone’s feelings” or “we don’t have any other place to go” and so forth.

I will speak for myself, Juliah, I grew up a people pleaser. It would paralyze me to think that I hurt someone’s feelings and that they would not like me anymore. Even way into my adulthood, I was more worried about what people thought about me or even more my husband, than what God thought of us. I thought I was peacekeeping, but it was and is pathologic passivity. I still occasionally experience the terror of what someone else will think… It takes faith, that God has our back, prayer that we acknowledge our weaknesses and need God, and practice taking action to get beyond ourselves.

Now don’t get me wrong, doing or saying something with the intention of offending or injuring is wrong. What are your motivations for the things you think or do? Faith or fear, love or bitterness, selflessness or selfishness or, God forbid, revenge? Something we need to evaluate constantly.

1 Corinthians 13:3 “If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.” (NIV)

All things are to be truth in love. It is ultimately up to the other person to decide to be offended or not. We cannot control what others think… We always do our part in love with right motivation and God will honor it. Starting with our families and working our way out… Our families deserve our best…

Our Spouse is a Precious Gift from God…

Each Day is a New Day… 

“We have the opportunity to learn from yesterday and renew our minds, actions and words today that we may look forward to tomorrow.” Juliah Wolfe

A definition of precious, according to dictionary.com, is as follows “of high price or great value”.

How do you take care of a precious gift from the best father ever? Do you honor it, care for it, keeping it in a special place?

Or do you set aside and forget about it? Maybe disrespect or speak harshly to it? You could be taking a chance of losing it.

Let me tell you a short story.

Many years ago when my youngest son was about 14. He built, with his own hands, a small Knick knack shelf, out of scrap wood and nails from the garage. He decorated with paper and labelled the shelves, one with Mom and one for Dad. With an ink pen, he also wrote on it, “You two will always be loved.” Now in anyone else’s eyes it might not be beautiful, scrap wood and paper. But being very special to us. I put that shelf in a special place, out where everyone could see it. Over the years, it worked its way to the laundry room window sill. This place was not particularly special. Eventually, it was hidden. Mind you this was years later. One day, I thought about that shelf, but did not know where it went. I scoured the house. After days of searching, I found it, behind the water heater in the laundry room, covered in dust bunnies and spiderwebs.

God showed me how something so special to me could get lost over time, unintentionally, but lost just the same. He related it to marriage and how we could lose something so precious to us, something that God had given to us because we did not take care of it, or had let it become devalued in our heart. Your spouse may not be beautiful to someone else but is still a precious gift to you. Given to you by God, to care for, to work and grow with, till death do you part.

In John 14:16-21, Jesus was speaking to His disciples, to comfort them before his crucifixion.  “…I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever. The Spirit of truth….” continuing on in verse 19 “Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.” (NIV)

If you are in Christ and Christ is in you and Christ is in your spouse, what you do to your spouse, you are doing to Christ….

I don’t like to think that when I speak harshly to my husband, ultimately I am speaking harshly to God. God gently corrects me by asking “just who are you rebelling against now?” When I pay attention and listen, the Holy Spirit redirects my thoughts, words and actions. I don’t know about you… I find that arguing with God, trying to justify myself, is not very productive.

Sometimes it is easy, in our anger or bitterness or just plain apathy, to forget that our spouse is a precious gift from God. As we stay close to God, we will be able to take note of our Father gently reminding us to care for our spouse and love them unconditionally, as God has first loved us.

Today is a new day!!

Glory to God! A new step on our path that God has set before us. This venue is new for us but we are confident that we will get the hang of blogging. Be sure to review a brief synopsis “About Us”.

Our desire and purpose is to encourage, cultivate and be an instrument for God to build and strengthen marriages and families, communities and country. Some posts will be instructional, some correctional and all are intended to be encouraging. Life happens and we are all human beings. We “all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God, and all are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23,24 NIV) and with that being said, we are all in or should be in process of improvement.

As we continue to grow and learn we want to share it with you that maybe you will benefit as well. We always encourage you to look up and study God’s Word (the bible), we will be including passages as we go. So smile, buckle your armor and be ready for the journey.