encouragement

Turn the Lights On!!

Staying healthy anytime includes keeping positive, even during difficult days. Focusing on the positive has rewards that will manifest in your body and the influence you have on others. In the last week, two people I love were diagnosed with cancer. Each received this information just a few days before Christmas. My initial reaction was, “Wow, What a rough way to spend the holidays! Couldn’t the news have come at a better time?”  As I’ve contemplated their circumstances I’ve had a change of heart. If the news was headed their way, this is absolutely the BEST time they could have gotten bad news!

With less than seven days ‘til Christmas, every store, radio station and front yard is announcing the good news that “Unto us a child is born…”

Mary and Joseph, unable to find a comfortable place to stay were forced to spend the night in a barn. The animals became smelly space heaters and the food trough a crib for their newborn. Rather than a well-lit and sterile environment like the delivery rooms where I gave birth to our children, Jesus entered our world via a dark and dirty environment. Absolutely the BEST place for the Light of the World to show up. That dark and dank barn was a perfect canvas for His light.  The black of night made the star easy to follow and because He was the only newborn in the barn, it wasn’t hard for the shepherds to locate the baby who was the “Light of the World. “

If this holiday season includes loss or sadness for you, look at the darkness with a new set of eyes.

  • Look around. Every decoration, tree and bit of tinsel is celebrating the birth of Jesus, Light of the World.
  • His light contrasts your darkness and that a GOOD thing. It makes  Him easy to find.
  • He is the Word of God and therefore, “A lamp unto my feet.” He will illuminate your path and lead you to peace in your circumstances.
  • When you surrender your darkness to God, He will equip you to share His light with others who need it.

Life’s speed bumps and collisions form who we are. We can be left with tire tracks on our back, run over by life or let God leave a distinct Fingerprint on our heart. Yielding prepares us to love and empathize with others.

"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.

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