Friday, May 24, 2019

The Healing Properties of Kindness

By: Sarah Geringer

Do you know that honey has healing properties? A few years ago, I started putting local raw honey in my morning tea. It helps my body fight off allergens. It has antiseptic qualities that can help wounds heal. Honey also contains trace elements of minerals that are good for our bodies.

Kind words are like that. They help heal wounded relationships. They help fight off negativity. They provide sweetness that nurtures our spirits. Kind words have power! 

Do you know that sharing kindness with others, especially when they don't "deserve" it, can be one of your primary ministry areas? I don't have to tell you that we live in an increasingly harsh and bitter world. Kindness stands out for its moral excellence, and can help others see Jesus in you.

I've seen several posts on Facebook about Fred Rogers' legacy of spreading kindness. His teachings certainly had an impact on me as a child as I watched Mister Roger's Neighborhood episodes every day. I enjoyed his gentle, loving presence that taught respect and acceptance. It's wonderful that his influence is in revival today.

Did you know that he was a Presbyterian minister? That doesn't surprise me at all. Kindness emanated from him, because Jesus' character shone through his words and actions.

Do you want to be remembered as a kind person? I'm sure you do! The Kindness Challenge can help you get started. 

For 30 days last year, I stopped the incessant negative flow of thoughts and words about a certain person. The situation didn't change, and the person refused to accept my words of kindness toward them. But MY heart changed! For the first time, I began sincerely praying for this person's healing. God gave me compassion to see this person's struggles in a new way, which contributed to their unkindness.

I no longer hold onto bitterness, because God showed me the transforming power of kindness. I know He will show you the same as you take on kinder thoughts and display kinder actions, with His help.

If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. Who is the kindest person you know? What is their motivation for showing kindness?

2. What step can you take today to show kindness?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

More {Giveaway}

By: Jenifer Metzger

As moms, as women really, do you ever feel like you just have to keep on giving? No matter how much you do, more is required of you. It doesn't matter how tired you are, you have to keep going. It doesn't matter how busy you are, more comes your way. Everyone wants more from you. It's exhausting, to say the least.

What about, if instead of wanting more from you, we began to realize that there is more for us? Kristin Funstun understands and in her brand new book More for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life, she helps us see that there is indeed more for us.

Kristin teaches us that when we truly listen to God, when we truly use all He makes available to us, we can be renewed and refreshed. She tells us that "Our holiness isn't about anything we do, but about what Christ has already done."

Kristin openly shares practical tips on using Scripture in every day situations and letting God be our strength. She reminds us that we are not alone. When you have nothing left to give, Kristin picks you up and points you straight to God.

In More for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life, Kristin will have you laughing, crying, and will leave you encouraged and ready to press on to the high calling God has for you. While More for Mom is geared for moms, these principles can easily be applied to other areas. I highly recommend this book for all women.

To purchase a copy of More for Mom: Living Your Whole and Holy Life, click the link below. To enter to win a copy, complete each task in the rafflecopter below.

It's time for Share A Link Wednesday! Each Wednesday we invite you to leave a link to your latest blog post in the comments. We still desire to connect women of God with one another and encourage each other in Christ. So grab a cup of coffee or glass of sweet tea, sit back and visit a few blogs. Be encouraged and share your own stories.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Make Today Your Best

By: Joanne Viola

Recently I spent time outside in our yard, weeding with my nine month old granddaughter in tow. Thankfully she was content as one could ever hope in her stroller, and enjoying seeing neighbors walk by with their dogs, the trees blowing in the wind, and eating her puffs.

But it was in watching her reaction to a dandelion that filled my own heart with wonder. First she touched the delicate puffs and then when her arms began waving it around, she smiled and laughed as the strands gently took to the air.

Life is a total adventure to this baby as she takes in everything for the first time.

My heart was full as I, too, had found adventure through the eyes of an infant, right in my own yard. Out of my deep love for this bundle of life, I wanted to see and experience the adventure right along with her.

Today will never pass this way again and tomorrow won’t look the same as today. As I spent time outside, I took in all the varied shades of green, the blueness of the sky, and the way the branches swayed in the wind. I remembered the words I had read earlier:
“This day will never come again and anyone who fails to eat and drink and taste and smell it will never have it offered to him again in all eternity. The sun will never shine as it does today … But you must play your part and sing a song, one of your best.”
(as quoted by Luci Swindoll in her book Live Life Differently)
Sometimes it takes spending time with an infant to remember to live life fully. We need our eyes and our hearts to be fully open to enjoy the present moment as the gift which God has given to us.

“This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24, NLT)

Where have you discovered adventure lately? 

May we play our part,
sing a song, and
make today our best. 


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Does God promise not to give us more than we can handle?

I've heard it said many times that God promises not to give us more than we can handle. It's often preceded by the words, "In the Bible it says". So, I've unsuccessfully tried to find a verse that says that. If you know of such a verse, please let me know. The Bible does say in 1 Corinthians 10:13,
"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." But it seems to me that this verse is talking specifically about temptation. It is saying that God always provides a way of escape out of temptation.

There are many, many things that have been more than I can handle. As a young wife and mother, I couldn't handle being a good wife and a good mother. I had to daily pile my troubles on God's shoulders and let Him carry my load. Each day I would ask Him to help me to be the wife and mother  I should be that day. Every day, one day at a time, He helped me do what was too hard for me to do on my own.

As I was reading the book of Numbers this week, I got to chapter eleven where Moses asks God why He gave Moses the burden of leading the children of Israel. "I can't do this by myself-it's too much...I've seen enough; I've had enough. Let me out of here." (Num. 11:11-15 MSG) So, God gives Moses some very practical, hands on help. He gives him seventy men to help him carry the leadership load. I can relate to Moses. Leading people is not easy. It is an impossible load to carry without the help, wisdom and strength of God and also the hands on help of co-laborers in ministry.

There are so many other things that are more than we can handle on our own. We can't save ourselves from sin, we can't deliver ourselves from bondage, we can't love others unselfishly, we can't forgive the unforgivable, we can't control our tongue...let's just admit it, without God's continual help we are all in a world of hurt! I'm so thankful that He wants to help us. He wants to bear our burdens. He wants to give us strength when we are weak. He welcomes and He wants our dependence to be on Him, not on ourselves. So today, I'm piling all my troubles, all my lack, all my weakness, on God's very capable shoulders. I'm letting Him carry the load. I'm trusting Him to help me with all of the things that are more than I can handle. Care to join me?

Friday, May 17, 2019

Gearing Up for a Successful Summer

By: Sarah Geringer

She is energetic and strong,
    a hard worker.” 
Proverbs 31:17 NLT

Summer is almost here! Maybe it means a change in schedule for you. Or perhaps it means a continuation of the same. 

I'm a work-from-home mom of three children, ages 15, 13, and 11. Since I have one more summer before the oldest can drive, I'll be making a lot more trips to town after Memorial Day. This change in my quiet days will require intentional effort to maintain, or chaos will result.

I have friends who are retired, looking forward to traveling this summer. I also know other friends with younger children who are feeling apprehensive about so much time with them in the summer. Depending on your viewpoint, summer can look appealing or daunting.

Whatever summer holds in store for you, it can be a success if you are intentional about it now. Since you are a woman of faith, it's important to set your faith at the top of your priority list this summer. By focusing energy, strength and hard work in your faith walk this summer, all the other areas on your list of priorities will be blessed.

Here are several ways you can gear up for a successful summer in your faith:

1. Challenge yourself to Bible study. Pick a short book of the Bible, like one of the New Testament letters, and commit to reading it. You can commit it to memory by writing it all out in a notebook, a few verses at a time. Choose your favorite verses and place them on sticky notes on your mirror, in your planner, on your car dashboard, etc. By the end of the summer, you can memorize over 12 new verses if you pick one per week!

2. Honor the Sabbath. Resting is so important for our spiritual, mental and physical health. Give God one hour of your Saturdays or Sundays this summer. Use it for prayer, personal reflection, Scripture meditation and songs of praise. Of course, this hour of rest will only enhance the time you spend in corporate worship. This special hour between you and God will bless you with greater peace throughout the week.

3. Pray over your schedule. If you are traveling, pray for safe travels and good health. Also pray that God will place people in your path whom you can encourage and point to Jesus. If you are staying home with littles (or big kids), pray that God will help you rejoice in the time you share together. Ask him to give you the attitude of Jesus, as beautifully explained in Philippians 2. This passage is a great source for meditation. You'll have plenty of verses at the ready when you feel frustrated or weary.

4. Consider opening your home. Summer is such a unique season, full of beauty and opportunities to connect with others. By hosting a simple potluck meal with a few friends, you can share the love of Jesus with others. Don't fret over whether your house is big enough, nice enough, or clean enough--just offer the best you can, all things considered. Hospitality will provide lasting blessings to you and to others. Go ahead--schedule a barbecue or picnic today!

5. Rejoice! Life moves at such a fast pace. It's easy to forget to rejoice in all the blessings we have. By rejoicing every day over your blessings, you'll start to see things in a positive light. I meditate on this verse every day, which instantly improves my outlook. Rejoicing is an important part of our daily walk that can set us up for success in faith.
By practicing these steps regularly throughout this summer, you'll be able to look back in the fall and praise God for growing your faith. 

If you want to share feedback on this post, please leave a comment below. You can always share at my site if you have any trouble leaving a comment here.
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Have a wonderful weekend!

Blessings and God's peace to you,

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Reflection questions:

1. What is your greatest challenge this summer? How can God or others help you with it?

2. Which of the five steps will set you up for the greatest success in your faith?