I said, "I will confess my sins to the LORD," and you forgave my guilt. Psa 32:5
Once there were a couple of farmers who couldn't get along with each other. A wide ravine separated their two farms, but as a sign of their mutual distate for each other, each constructed a fence on his side of the chasm to keep the other out.
In time, however, the daughter of one met the son of the other, and the couple fell in love. Determined not to be kept apart by the folly of their fathers, they tore down the fence and used the wood to build a bridge across the ravine.
Confession does that. Confessed sin becomes the bridge over which we can walk back into the presence of God.
In the Grip of Grace (Max Lucado)
When was the last time you said, "Thanks" to your spouse? Oh, we don't
mean saying, "thanks" for passing the salt or even "thanks" when they get
something for you that you couldn't get on your own; most people do that.
We mean saying "thanks" for some of the little niceties that your spouse
does that you may overlook in expressing thanks. And yet those niceties
probably make your day a little brighter when they do them for you, so why
not thank them?
Here in the United States we just celebrated Thanksgiving - a holiday that
is dedicated for giving thanks. There's historical significance to the day
for us in our nation. And most of us here still celebrate its historical
as well as its spiritual significance to us. It originally was a day of
preparing a festive dinner together for those who were helpful to the
first American settlers. It was their way of saying thanks to God for His
blessings and then to those who had helped them in so many ways.
Unfortunately, many people today forget or ignore why this celebration
ever happened in the first place. How we pray we never do!
And yet this morning during my prayer time, I (Cindy) realized that many
of us also forget to say thanks in our everyday lives - apart from this
special holiday. First off, we forget to express our thankfulness to God
for how He has blessed our lives in so many ways. We may not have perfect
lives this side of heaven and many of us live in very difficult
situations, yet there is always SOMETHING, for which to give thanks.
Things always could be worse.
Even in the most difficult of situations there is some overlooked blessing
that we may not be focusing on because of the bigger situation that's
receiving our attention. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that we
are to "give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you in
Christ Jesus." What we believe this means is that there is always
something, either apparent to hidden, for which we can be thankful. We may
not understand why God has allowed certain things to happen to us but we
need to trust His heart and ultimate plans for the world (including us)
that He will work some kind of good out of it. For that we can find
reasons to be thankful!
Also, we forget to express thanksgiving to our spouse. You may have heard
the term of performing "Random Acts of Kindness" - which is finding ways
to bless others by intentionally doing something kind (or nice) for them.
It's random because it's done spontaneously (and is usually unexpected).
It may be taking them out to lunch, or washing their car (without being
asked), or tucking a little gift of money in a place where they will
eventually find it with a note that says, "This is a little something for
you to use. Enjoy!" Those are just a few examples of doing random acts of
kindness for others. But what about expressing to our spouse "Random Words
Some examples of "Random Words of Thanks" would be to:
- Thank them for getting up each morning to go to work. There are many
spouses who decide to be lazy and not provide financially for their
family, so they don't roll out of bed to go to work. If you have a
spouse who does go to work, look for different times and different ways
to express thanks. This may surprise them, but express that you
appreciate their commitment to doing this (especially if they go to a
job every day that they don't especially enjoy). It's nice to know
someone notices things like this sometimes.
- Thank them for planning the meals, and shopping for the food, and all
the work they put in for preparing what you eat each day. Even if you
helped in doing part of this, the initiative they showed in making sure
everything was done should be appreciated. Some might say, "Well, this
is all part of being married. This is what is expected of my spouse!"
The question is, "Why?" Where is it written in the marriage contract
that they HAVE to do this because they married you? This is an
expectation - be it societal, cultural or personal - it's still an
expectation. So why not express thanks from time-to-time that your
spouse actually does it? Some spouses don't… or won't do it.
- Thank them for being dependable and honorable. There are so many
temptations presented in our world to act different than this. There are
spouses who give in to the temptation to drink heavily, and/or take
illegal drugs, and/or spend time in dishonorable places and situations.
When we have a spouse who is dependable and obviously honors the
marriage commitment it would be nice to let them know you appreciate who
they are and how they make the choices to honor your marital
partnership. Realize that you're blessed to have a spouse who is a
"Promise Keeper." Now, let them KNOW you realize it by thanking them.
- Thank them for the little things they do that may have gone unnoticed in
the past like: changing a light bulb when it's burned out, or filling
the automobile with gasoline when it needs it, or reading to the
children (especially when it gives you a little bit of a break to have
"quiet time" yourself), or cleaning or sweeping, or painting a room, or
gardening, or repairing something, or purchasing gifts for the family,
etc. - all without being asked to do so.
Those are just a few things for which you can thank them. But go ahead…
think of others. And then express your thanks. The challenge is to express
it. Make this a time of "Thanks-GIVING," not "Thanks-BEING." Being
thankful is great. But sometimes we need to also verbally express it.
We've known of marriages where the spouse has left the other for someone
else because they felt "unappreciated" or "taken for granted" and
eventually found someone else who lavished their appreciation upon them or
have made them feel needed and "special" again. We're not saying this is
right for them to have done this, because it isn't. But what we are saying
is everyone wants to feel appreciated. And every marriage could use a
little tender loving care to make sure that each marital partner isn't
feeling neglected or taken for granted.
We didn't take each other for granted before marriage, which helped us to
fall in love with each other in the first place, so now that we're
married, we need to still make the effort to express appreciation to each
other. Our needs don't go away just because we place a wedding ring on our
finger and sign a marriage license/contract. We need to be partners in
"Thanks-GIVING" as well as "Thanks-BEING."
Do you express a heart of thanksgiving to your spouse? If not, now is the
time to begin! We're told that "a word aptly spoken is like apples of gold
in settings of silver" (Proverbs 25:11)."I thank my God every time I
remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry
it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:3-6)
I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. Eph 3:16
Here is a scene repeated in Brazil thousands of times daily…
It's early morning. Time for young Marcos to leave for school. As he gathers his books and heads for the door, he pauses by his father's chair. He searches his father's face.Marcos asks. (Blessing, Father?)
The father raises his hand. He assures. (God bless you, my son.) …
Father and child part for the day, a blessing requested, a blessing willingly given…
We should do the same. Like the child longing for the father's favor, each of us needs a daily reminder of our heavenly Father's love.
31 Days of Blessing (Max Lucado)
I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Philippians 4:11
Contentment is hard to attain. Even the apostle Paul, a hero of the faith, had to learn to be content (Phil. 4:11). It was not a natural character trait for him.
For Paul to write that he was content in every situation is truly amazing. At the time of this writing, he was in jail in Rome. Charged with sedition, treason, and other serious crimes, he had appealed to the highest court: Caesar himself. Without other legal recourse and friends in high places, he had to wait for his case to be heard. It seems as if Paul had the right to be an impatient and unhappy person. Instead, he wrote to the Philippians to say that he had learned to be content.
How did he learn this? One step at a time until he could be satisfied even in uncomfortable environments. He learned to accept whatever came his way (v.12) and to receive with thanks whatever help fellow Christians could give (vv.14-18). And most important, he recognized that God was supplying all he needed (v.19).
Contentment is not natural for any of us. The competitive spirit in us drives us to compare, to complain, and to covet. Few of us are in a predicament such as Paul’s, but we all face difficulties in which we can learn to trust God and be content.
Contentment is not possessing everything but giving thanks for everything you possess.
Being flexible will gain support and approval from the team.
1. Communicate your Vision: Use your mission as your compass to guide you and your team by intergrating the company values into the everyday tasks. Let the team know exactly what the big picture is so they can identify how their roles play a part in the scheme of things.
2. Encourage their Creativity: Be open to new ways of how others do things. Effective leadership acknowledges success and also recognises that there are many ways to do things better. Creative thinking and risk-taking often lead to seeing things from another view. Explore possibilities and follow curiosity. Open yourself to new ideas even if they don't seem to have a place at the moment.
3. Simplicity Rules: Focus on the really important areas and tasks, then set priorities for each. Break down work units into workable tasks and try to simplify each task as much as possible. It is highly effective to build in some thinking time for yourself and others.
4. Communicate Openly: Share information with your team and let them know what your ideas are. Be visible and accessible. Listen to their views and opinions and be open for both you and your team to ask questions. Let them be aware of how your thinking fits into the big picture. Be aware at all times of how your presence, mood and style affect those around you.
5. Don't be an Island: A True leader never isolates themselves from anyone. Be open to other people's perspectives when in discussions and decision-making. Individual voices contribute to bringing people together.
6. Be Truthful: Be genuine and be yourself. Be honest and admit it if you made an error. Everyone makes mistakes daily; however, these mistakes create opportunities to find new solutions.
7. Involve Others: Embrace each team member's energy by inspiring them to engage their own passions, creativity, strengths and skills to allow them to discover their own potential. Show appreciation and acknowledge their personal and group efforts and contributions.
8. Create the Right Atmosphere: Consistently focus on the positive by searching for the possibilities in every situation. Inspire others to be positive that as a team, great things can be achieved.
9. Keep Growing Others: Allow others to identify their personal strengths, potentials and passions. Encourage them to create new challenges and possibilities. Every person has the power to make a company great.
10. Keep Growing Yourself: To develop yourself and grow to the heights you envisage, you need the confidence to be able to stretch yourself. An effective leader has the ability to be able to lead him or herself - not only being a genuine example to others, but to become a working element of the overall machinery of the business. Develop the ability to focus and motivate yourself just as you motivate others.
Acts 1:13 The disciples went into the upper room with a mindset that says “We are not coming out of here until God shows up” They did not go there to wait 10 minutes. They did not go there to wait two days. They did not go there to wait 3 months. No, they went in there saying “we cannot do all that God wants us to do without His full power in our life. Like the apostles we should also have that attitude : I am waiting on you Lord, indefinitely until I receive power from on high
The way it works in life is, if God does not do something right now for us, then we take matters into our own hands (this is referred to as the flesh), so what happens is we do make progress but only for while, then we get irritated and things can go wrong. Rather have the attitude of waiting for God then you can maintain all what is right in your life, waiting for God does not mean, sit and do nothing, it means spend quality time with His word, carry on praying, carry on thanking Him for your answer in prayer in faith, carry on believing that He can and He will fulfill his promises in you.
It is not our love for God; it is God's love for us in sending his Son to be the way to take away our sins. —1Jn 4:10
We have attempted to reach the moon but scarcely made it off the ground. We tried to swim the Atlantic, but couldn't get beyond the reef. We have attempted to scale the Everest of salvation, but we have yet to leave the base camp, much less ascend the slope. The quest is simply too great; we don't need more supplies or muscle or technique; we need a helicopter.
Can't you hear it hovering?
"God has a way to make people right with him" (Rom 3:21 , italics mine). How vital that we embrace this truth. God's highest dream is not to make us rich, not to make us successful or popular or famous. God's dream is to make us right with him.
In the Grip of Grace (Max Lucado)
We are many, but in Christ we are all one body. Each one is a part of that body. Rom 12:5
God has enlisted us in his navy and placed us on his ship. The boat has one purpose—to carry us safely to the other shore.
This is no cruise ship; it's a battleship. We aren't called to a life of leisure; we are called to a life of service. Each of us has a different task. Some, concerned with those who are drowning, are snatching people from the water. Others are occupied with the enemy, so they man the cannons of prayer and worship. Still others devote themselves to the crew, feeding and training the crew members.
Though different, we are the same. Each can tell of a personal encounter with the captain, for each has received a personal call…
We each followed him across the gangplank of his grace onto the same boat. There is one captain and one destination. Though the battle is fierce, the boat is safe, for our captain is God. The ship will not sink. For that, there is no concern.
In the Grip of Grace (Max Lucado) .