devotional

Submit Already

So you wake up every morning and going to work has become more of a chore than ever.  You’re not excited about the job, the boss, the people on your team – what do you do?  Quit?  Stick around? If you’ve read my Facebook devotionals you’ll see I’m all about seeking God’s will.  Logically, in this economy quitting your job for any reason is a risky move.  Spiritually, if you’re not in the place God wants you, sticking around out of fear is a risky move.  To my friends who know they are where God has called them to be, I share a message of endurance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Is all of your misery at work tied to one person?  Have you prayed consistently for them?  I’m not talking about a “Bless my butt head boss Phil” before bedtime, I mean really sitting down and praying for peace in their personal lives, wisdom when making decisions, and a softened heart towards other people.  You may be surprised how your heart softens towards them in the process.

Perhaps you’re miserable because you always feel like the oddball out.  People leave you behind when they go to lunch, leave the break room when you arrive, plan events outside of work without inviting you.  Think back over the last year, how have you impacted their lives?  Has your behavior reflected God’s love or his wrath?

Take into account that the situations you are in require a lesson to be learned.  What that lesson is, is between you and God.  Two things.  1 – If you fail, you can count on a retest.  2 – If you avoid it, you’ll find yourself being tested on something else.  Let me assure you that God is 100% committed your education, so rather than fight with him, SUMBIT ALREADY!

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for loving me enough to teach me your ways just as any earthly parent should.  Continue to guide me and open my eyes so that I am reflection of your love.

Still Hungry?  Abraham personifies endurance in Genesis 12 – 22.

 

Originally Published in 2011

Live, Laugh, Love...

I woke up one morning in July of 2012 and decided I was no longer happy with my job.  While I loved the people that I was working with, the tasks I was completing each day filled me with no joy.  There was no excitement; my professional life was stagnant.  It was then I realized I was much too young to be having these feelings.  In my head I had 3 choices; stick it out and be miserable, find a new job in a new company, or relocate to our company headquarters in California.

Live

"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15 (New Living Translation)

Laugh

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."  1 Peter 1:6  (New Living Translation)

Love

"Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  (New Living Translation)

After much prayer and discussion, my husband & I have decided to LIVE.  I was offered and accepted a job at my corporate office in California.  I've moved ahead of them which isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  A small price to pay; we'll all be together again soon and I can't wait.  Until then, I'm entertained nightly by my family via Facetime, they are a LAUGH a minute!  All of these things are made possible for me because I believe in a God who grants the desires of our hearts and because I have a husband who LOVES me enough to follow me to another new city, and be both Mother & Father to our daughter while I pursue new opportunities for my career.

STOPLIGHT PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank you giving me life and for guiding me through it.  Thank you for making your will for my life the desire of my heart and for guiding me through life.  Help me to listen for your voice amidst the static that tries to throw me off course.

My Family This is my beautiful family.  I love them for supporting me in everything I do and can't wait to start this new adventure with them.

Talkin' Dirty

Ooooh!  Talking dirty.  Sounds so naughty and it is!  It’s especially naughty when you’re talking dirty at the office. I’ll admit sometimes a four letter word (or two) to stress a point may seem to be an effective form of communication, but there is always an alternative to those fierce four letter words.  Not only is swearing like a sailor a poor way of showcasing God’s love, it’s also not very becoming of a lady.

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders (those not of the Christian faith), making the most of the opportunity.  Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.  Colossians 4:5-6  (New American Standard Bible)

Have you ever seen an end of year evaluation where an employer encouraged the use of profanity?  If you have let me know, I’d love to start a Linked In thread about that one. Talkin’ dirty, in most professions, is unnecessary and unprofessional.  Do your best to bring out the best in others during a conversation, not put people down or make others feel uncomfortable.

Think before you speak and whatever you do, “No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.”  Exodus 20:7  (The Message Bible)

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, please help me to control my tongue.  Thank you giving me sense to use my wit and wisdom when speaking with other.  Help me to show your love though my words and my actions.  Amen.

What Not To Wear

Spring is here, or if you’re a Texan you can say spring never left.  If you’re like me you’re packing up your sweaters and suede boots and pulling out the spaghetti straps and open toe sandals.  But sometimes enjoying fashion can be tricky during work hours. Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.  Proverbs 11:22 (New International Version) 

In the Old Testament, pigs were unclean & untouchable animals, so the idea of putting something as extremely valuable and beautiful as a gold ring in a pig’s snout would be an incredible waste.  To show no discretion means to be without taste, tact & grace.  It seems a bit extreme, comparing an indiscreet woman to a pig, but it sure does put God’s perspective on the subject into place.

God has set some rather high standards for women.  We are to be noble of character, hard working, giving, crafty, wise and modest.  It’s a tall order, but in true God fashion the order has its purpose.  He’s put these expectations in place to keep us out of compromising situations.  If you think that dressing provocatively is not YOUR problem, think again.

The decisions you make each morning standing in your closet can have more of an impact than you know on someone’s marriage, friendship, employment status or their walk with God.

Whether you work in an office or as a cashier in a grocery store these  “What Not To Wear” basics still apply.

  • Keep your cleavage out of the workplace.  The only girls people should be seeing are the ones you birthed.
  • Perma-wedgies are not sexy.  Skinny jeans are great, but if stopping at the drug store on the way home for yeast infection medication is probable, then you probably shouldn’t wear them to begin with.
  • Your husband is the only one who needs to see your v-jay-jay.  So while super short skirts & shorts may have their place in fashion, knee length is more appropriate.
  • If you have to get a bikini wax to wear low rise anything – they are too low!  There is no need to show off your thong or booty crack.

Allow me to remind you that charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting.  God may have blessed you with curves and beauty but he created you to be so much more.  When you’re getting dressed in the morning, whom are you thinking about?  Your clothes do not define who you are, your character does; and dressing inappropriately is a direct reflection of your character.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven, thank you creating me and giving me this body to serve you.  Help my sisters and I to make wise decisions before we step out the door each morning so that we are not stumbling blocks in each other’s lives.

Still Hungry?  Proverbs 31 defines a woman of noble character and 1 Peter 3:3-4 reminds us that beauty is more than what is on the outside.

"I'll Have What She's Having"

I began working for my current employer at the age of 18, my first job out of high school.  I earned my first promotion at the age of 19 leading people who were 1 – my parents’ age and 2 – multi year veterans with the company I had been with for only a year.  Going from peer to leader in the same building was a unique challenge.  I studied the management binders in the office, could quote polices and section numbers, and above all used the leadership skills God had given me to continue to excel in my job. I was the youngest supervisor in a 150-mile radius and there were some people who didn’t let me forget it.  No one left baby food on my desk, although I’m sure it crossed a few minds, it was the attitudes, tones and eye rolls that said it all and frankly, it was hurtful.

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.  1 Timothy 4:12 (New American Standard Bible)

Remember when you’re hired by a business it’s because they see something special in you.  You have a skill, quality or trait that they want to incorporate into their business.  Be open to learn from your new co-workers who come from so many different backgrounds.  If you’ve been hired to be the new boss, treat people with respect and show them God’s love in your every day managing of the business.

Young or experienced, when you are exuding Godly qualities, it is tough for people not to be drawn to you.  As Christians we are called to be good role models and with the media romanticizing sex tapes, gossip and girls behaving badly we have our work cut out for us. 

Our goal should be for people to say, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in heaven thank you for giving me the opportunity to show your love and faithfulness.  Help me to lead by example and not fall into the traps set our enemy.

Still hungry?  Learn a lesson from Jesus in John 13:12- 15.

Negativity & The Water Cooler

Is the water cooler half empty or half full?  What are you doing standing there? God delivered the Israelites from slavery & Pharaoh’s rule; His commitment to them was taking them to the Promise Land.  By day he guided them by a cloud, at night with fire.  He provided manna from heaven and water from rocks.  When they arrived at the border, Moses sent 12 spies to scout out the land; upon their return 10 had reports with a negative spin.  The land flowed with milk and honey, but it was ruled by powerful men in large fortified cities!

“And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored… the land devours those living in it.  All the people we saw there are of great size… we seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes and we looked the same to them.” Numbers: 13:32-33

Have you noticed that once one person has started complaining about work or the boss it's only a matter or minutes before everyone within earshot has put in their two cents.  Negativity spreads like an infectious disease. And while some, most or all of the statements may be true (I’ve been there!) they are far from necessary.  The most common response after a whining session is “well it makes me feel better”, but I have a hard believing that’s true.

Coughing up phlegm when you have a cough might provide some relief for an hour or so, but the reality is there is plenty more where that came from.  Yes, I’m comparing negativity to phlegm, because while you may have a few moments of gratification after sharing your negative thoughts with the office, complaining will not heal you.  In fact, the more you cough, the higher the risk of infecting the whole office.  And while misery may love company, it sure makes for a long day and a miserable work environment.

When you feel a coughing spell coming on, take a sip from the water cooler and ask yourself what seas God has parted for you.  Are you are dwelling solely on the negative instead of remembering all the positive things God has done for you?

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for providing me with the opportunities I have at work.  Please help me set my mind on things above and not on earthly things.

Still Hungry?  Nehemiah faced overwhelming negativity when he was tasked with rebuilding the wall aroundJerusalemin Nehemiah 1 – 6.

Sleep On It

When I think of sleep, I usually reference recharging my battery or even escaping from my troubles, but Jesus slept and he was doing neither of the two.

Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat.

But Jesus was sleeping.Matthew 8:24

Jesus and his disciples were on a boat facing a huge storm and as the disciples flipped out, they looked over and found Jesus asleep.

The storm they see does not match the peace they see Him resting in. They wake Him up ask Him to do something. They look for a solution in the form of action. He surprised them all when He rose from His sleep, spoke to the storm and all the elements responded. The raging waters and fierce winds ceased and the storm was over.

Life in the Now

My favorite Bill Johnson quote is "You have no authority in a storm you cannot sleep in.”

Recently, my Mom and Dad were given horrible news that my sister had cancer and would need emergency surgery. They comforted her and one another then each went off to pray.

They found a quiet place to intercede for their daughter and with conviction, reminded God of His promise of healing. After a time, peace came over them and sleep followed. Soon after came the news that the doctor could not explain. The cancer they had seen was no longer there. "We are not sure what is going on," but the family knew. The peace that came brought rest, then healing. God first gave them rest and then the storm blew over.

Think About It

Is there a storm in your life that keeps you awake? Are you looking for a solution that is action oriented?

Talk About It

Dad, You are the source of all peace. No matter how bad the storm, You still provide all the answers whether I see them or not. Take me to a resting place in Your presence where I can be certain that You are in control, amen.

More of the Truth

Psalm 23, Romans 8:6

Book Review: Guide to the Names of God

In the heat of  the summer, a great read is  always "hot!" Guide to the Names of God is the newest publication of Dr. Dianne Haneke. It is a reference book with over three hundred of the names of God in Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek. Each entry includes the meaning of the name, the first place the name is found in the scriptures as well as to whom God first revealed Himself with that particular attribute. The book is unique  in its organization. Dr. Haneke's research covers both Old and New Testament and the the results  are  divided  into the following sections:

  • Hebrew names of God
  • Over-arching attributes of God
  • Provisional Names & Titles of God
  • Redemptive Names & Titles of God
  • Other Titles of God the Father
  • Other Titles of God the Son
  • Other Titles of God the Holy Spirit

This organization gives the reader the opportunity to develop an in-depth knowledge of  one facet of God's personality at a time. As the reader becomes familiar with the story included in the entry, God's attributes move from the abstract to the concrete. Dr. Haneke also provides an Application section where the reader can personalize this attribute for his/her life.

The author provides additional scriptures for the reader to continue to study other locations and instances where that particular attribute was evident as well as lexical studies for further research.

Again, I must speak of the book's organization. Each section begins with its own Table of Contents, making it simple for the reader to locate exactly what he/she is looking for. For example, as I perused the section, Names of God the Holy Spirit, I was able to choose to learn about the Spirit of Grace, Spirit of Judgement or the Spirit of Knowledge, three of eighteen names of the Holy Spirit.

Although this book is categorized as a reference book, it doubles as a devotional, a book that is comforting to the soul. It can just as easily find its home in a library for scholarly studies as well as on  a nightstand as the last reminder of who God is at the end of day. Guide to the Names of God is an appropriate book for a large demographic; young and old, longtime student of the Bible or someone just wondering about who God is.

To order your own copy, go to:

http://www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore

Book Review:Table for One

Table for One is a collection of narratives and reflections followed by introspective questions that can be used a personal devotional or for a group to reflect on life’s challenges and personal growth. Every woman has had a dream then woken up in the morning asking, “What was that all about?” and most of us have at least one shopping experience where you watch and wait and watch and wait for a dress or a pair of shoes to go on sale so you can bring them home where they belong. Author, Lahoma Dade shares the details of a shopping experience then transforms it into a metaphor for life. She recounts the details of a dream then explains how the characters and actions symbolized emotional baggage that were holding her down. Ms. Dade's reflections  show her maturity in her Christian walk and  her narratives have the potential to inspire the reader to look for their own "aha moments" in what appear to be mundane activities of life.

The author is a single woman and the title infers that the book's target audience is other singles. I was glad to find that the content is appropriate and targeted for any woman wanting to make the most of her life. The interior design  includes curvy, feminine graphics that give an elegant look to the  pages. Some of the journal questions were meaty and all require honesty. Table for One is an impressive premier work that would add to the library of any woman who enjoys literature with a reflective component.

Lahoma Dade is an entreprenuer and motivational speaker. She engages crowds with her abilities as a storyteller in person as well as on radio. She is committed to inspire all people to live purposefully and develop their gifts.  To learn more about her or to purchase Table for One, visit her website : http://www.tableforonebook.com/

Her  book will be on sale at Shoreline Church on Dec. 4th & 5th. For more information, go to

http://www.shoreline.net/presents