Following the Rules By Using the Right Tools

Reference and How-To Tools

Recently, while watching an episode of “Mutt and Stuff” with my grandson, the segment talked about “following the rules” while you are on an airplane. Since this is a show about dogs, the dogs were actually passengers and were to sit in their seats. After a while–perhaps out of boredom–they got out of their seats and definitely were not following the rules. I turned to my grandson and said, “Look, the dogs are not following the rules.” He looked at me and said, “I don’t like to follow the rules.” I asked, “why not” and he plainly said, “because I don’t want to.” We talked–rather I talked–about the importance of following the rules in certain situations (i.e. preschool, safety). He just smiled and we left it at that for now.

Over the years, I am sure that I did not always follow the rules but eventually was taught the importance of following rules so that I could sit quietly in school, etc. We have books that teach us “how-to” do almost anything and everything IF we follow the instructions that we are given. There have been times when I have purchased a piece of furniture and thought I could put it together without looking at the instructions. Finally after struggling to put the item together, I realized I had to get out the instructions and read them step by step in order to finish the project that I started. Over the years, when I do buy something, I always check with the instructions first. Believe me, it saved a lot of undue frustration.

Sometimes we just don’t want to follow the rules and almost always–if we do not–there are usually consequences of some sort.

The Word of God teaches us to follow the Lord and His teachings in order to live a life that is good and to know right from wrong. We certainly need to teach our children this philosophy in order for them to survive in this world that is so big and vast and at times in turmoil. Knowing God and learning “more about Him” is learned by reading His Word and practicing what we have learned.

Scriptures clearly show us how to live and how to react even in the midst of trying circumstances. Living a life pleasing to Him should be important enough that others will see that in us. Scriptures that teach us about knowing God are as follows:

Colossians 1:10-12 (NIV): “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.”

John 17:3 (NIV): “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

Ephesians 1:17 (NIV): “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”

I John 2:3-4 (NIV): “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him.”

Even though my grandson is only 3-1/2, he too is still trying to understand and learn about following instructions and the rules everyday. More importantly as parents, grandparents, and teachers of children, it is up to all of us to show them how to live and follow the teachings, love, and grace of our Lord by being an example and role model. In this day and age, they need it more than ever.

Help us all to be teachers and doers of His Word and let His light shine in us every day. May the Lord bless you, and make His face to shine upon you.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Reading: “The Traveler’s Summit” by Andy Andrews (sequel to “The Traveler’s Gift”)

Songspiration: Because He Lives

“Because He Lives”, written by Bill and Gloria Gaither in 1971, is one of my all-time favorite songs to sing on Easter Sunday. According to Wikipedia, a majority of the Gaither songs have been sung and recorded by Christian artists such as the David Crowder Band, Carman, Sandi Patty, The Cathedral Quartet, The Speers and the Heritage Singers; and country singers such as The Statler Brothers; and pop artists such as Elvis Presley. Their songs are known worldwide.

The Gaither Trio has received a number of Grammy Awards and GMA Dove Awards, as well as other honors such as ASCAP “Best Gospel Song of the Year”; Christian “Songwriter of the Century”; and they were named among the top 75 American entrepreneurs in “Entrepreneur Magazine” in 1997.

Since Gaither first began singing with the Bill Gaither Trio in the 1950s, he has constantly been performing. The Bill Gaither Trio originally consisted of Bill, his brother Danny Gaither and his sister Mary Ann Gaither. In about 1964, Bill’s wife, Gloria, took Mary Ann’s place. They founded the Gaither Music Company, which includes a record company, concert booking, television production, copyright management, retail store, recording studio, and telemarketing for the Gaither organization, as well as a retail center called Gaither Family Resources.

Gaither’s Homecoming Tours, which began in 1991, brought together major stars of the southern gospel and CCM industry, such as Gary McSpadden, Steve Green, Lee Young, Jon Mohr, Mark Lowry, Larnelle Harris, as well as others.

This Sunday is Easter Sunday and this holiday will be celebrated around the world. The purpose: to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. A number of churches, various denominations, will sing this renowned hymn and will sing it with fervor. It is a song that speaks of Jesus’ love, death, and resurrection, and it is because of this that “we can face tomorrow and life is worth living because He lives.”

As you celebrate Easter resurrection Sunday with your family and loved ones, let us all remember the words in Hebrews 7:24-25:

“But because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood; therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

May the Lord bless you and keep you all.
Blessings,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour A Cup of Kindness

The Oxford Dictionary states that “kindness is the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

Psalm 63:3 – “Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.”

Hugh Mitchell wrote the song, “Thy Loving Kindness” using Psalm 63:3-4. The words are as follows:

Vs. 1: Thy loving kindness is better than life, Thy loving kindness is better than life.
My lips shall praise Thee, thus will I bless Thee: I will lift up my hands unto Thy name.
Vs. 2: I lift my hands, Lord, unto Thy name, I lift my hands, Lord, unto Thy name.
My lips shall praise Thee, thus will I bless Thee: I will lift up my hands unto Thy name.”

The Scripture is filled with words of wisdom about kindness and how we should act toward one another. Some of these words are as follows:

Ephesians 4:32 – “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I Corinthians 13:4 – “Love is patient, love is kind….”

Isaiah 63:7 – “I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord, the deeds for which he is to be praised, according to all the Lord has done for us–yes, the many good things he has done for the house of Israel, according to his compassion and many kindnesses.”

When I read these words, I see that kindness then is actually an act of faithfulness. If we truly love, then we will show this kindness towards one another and in doing so show our faithfulness to Him.

In “Thank Heaven for Coffee (and other little pleasures)” an Arabian Proverb is stated as follows:

“A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest away.”

This is the type person I want to be: someone who listens with a kind heart. May the Lord help all of us to be like Him and show kindness to those whom we come in contact with each and every day.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour a Cup of Love

Crosscards.com

On Tuesday, February 14, we will be celebrating the “love holiday”–Valentine’s Day. We have heard that “love makes the world go round”, “love and marriage come together like a horse and carriage”, and “all we need is love”; but what does the dictionary have to say about love: The Oxford Dictionary gives the following definitions:

“Love:
1) An intense feeling of deep affection
synonyms: fondness, tenderness, warmth, intimacy
2) A person or thing that one loves
synonyms: beloved, loved one, love of one’s life, dear, dearest”

Husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and family and friends try to surprise one another with a special gift on Valentine’s Day in order to try and show/express their deepest feelings of love for that person or persons.

In Corinthians 13:4-8, Christ shows us His definition/teachings of what love truly is:

“Love is patient
Love is kind
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It is not rude
It is not self-seeking
It is not easily angered
It keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”

He sums up the chapter by saying (verse 13):

“And now these three remain:
faith, hope, and love.
But the greatest of these is love.”

I don’t know about you, but whenever I read Jesus’ words regarding what love actually is and what it means to me as a Christian, I am immediately examining my heart and life so that I can truly show this kind of love to others each and every day. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes I let the “little things” bother me and I am not thankful for all that Jesus has blessed me with. However, I get down on my knees and ask His forgiveness if I have wronged someone or said something rude. We are not perfect. We are on a journey in this world and if we show the kind of love that Christ has shown us, then this world would be a better place. All we need to do is remember to ask for His help.

As we celebrate Valentine’s Day this coming week, remember to show our family/friends/loved ones that we love and care about them and how we can always “protect, trust, hope, and always persevere” because “love never fails.”

In “Thank Heaven for Coffee (and other little pleasures)” published by Barbour Publishing Inc., we are reminded of the following scripture:

A CUPFUL OF LOVE
“God has poured out His love into our hearts”–Romans 5:5 (NIV)
Since we have been so loved, let us not neglect sharing that love with others even in the simple offering of a cup of joe.”

Blessings to All,
Yvonne

Coffee Inspiration: Pour A Cup of Joy

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”–Nehemiah 8:10

“Clap your hands all peoples! Shout to God with songs of joy.”–Psalm 47:1

How many of you remember the coffee jingle from the ’60’s, “Chock full of nuts is that heavenly coffee” or the expressions “pour me a cup of joe” and “…good til the last drop?” I was recently reminded of these expressions and my heart was full of joy.

During the holidays, I ordered two special mugs and added a personal touch with the individual’s name on each one. They didn’t come in time for Christmas but I sent them a few days later. The individual text’d me and said they loved them, and that she was “pouring a cup of joe” in her new mug. I text’d back saying, “Now you will always think of me.” She replied, “I think of you all the time. I don’t need a mug for that.”

As soon as I saw her message, my heart was full of joy at her words and we agreed to talk on the phone at a time that was convenient for her. When we did talk, I had my cup of coffee in hand. My cup has the words, “Be strong…the strength you need comes from God.” Nehemiah also reminds us of being strong and that the “joy of the Lord is our strength.”

Right now, everything is going along smoothly; but I have no doubt that my faith will be tested by life’s circumstances and that God will continually remind me that the joy we need to have in our hearts comes from Him. Joy plus an attitude of gratitude is my new motto for this coming year. It is a reminder that God is with us–that our lives matter–and that we can make a difference in others’ lives as well.

“Coffee is best served…black
…or with cream
…or with sugar
…or flavored with vanilla, chocolate,
hazelnut, peppermint, spice, etc.
…or with dessert
…or with breakfast
…or with a SMILE.”–From “Thank Heaven for Coffee and other little pleasures” by Barbour Publishing, Inc.”

May God richly bless and keep you in His loving care and enjoy your special “cup of joy” each and every day.

Blessings,
Yvonne

Father’s Day, 2013: The Measure of a Man

Tree

Public Domain

How do you measure a man who…

Today as I was walking my dog, Buddy, I began to think about Father’s Day and of course, began thinking about my husband’s life and then these words, how do you measure a man, began to flood my thoughts. Thinking about the special qualities that a man should possess, my thoughts turned to the following:

A man is measured by:
. His character–consistent, loyal at home and at work
. His attitude–towards life and others in general
. His love for God and his community
. His love for others–lending a helping hand to a friend (i.e. family/friends, spouse’s family, his children, and church family) or to a stranger in need
. His love for his spouse: unconditional love; encourager/supporter

As I listened to God speak to my heart about the above-mentioned traits, I thought of an unfamiliar, god-given saying: “A man is like a ship who, when sailing on rocky waters, learns to remain calm and trust in his God to help him sail through it!” (Yvonneism)

The stories I could share here about the love of my life of almost 45 years, my husband Roger, would undoubtedly fill a book, but it would also tell of a man who is not measured by his wealth or fame but by the grace and spirit of God living in his life on a daily basis.

I’m reminded of another famous quote by a man who stated that, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

As we celebrate Father’s Day in a couple of weeks, let us remember that the true measure of a man is his love for God and how the light of His love comes shining through in everything that he does.

Blessings on you,
Yvonne

June reading: “Life After Art” by Matt Appling; purposeful creating!

Blogging Course

http://www.decor8eclasses.com

Blogging Course


Button courtesy of http://www.decor8eclasses.com

This week I begin a four-week journey to help me find and develop my voice in the blogging world. This is truly an adventure that I am looking forward to and feel that this course will help me fulfill my heart’s desires: to write from my heart as the Lord allows and to reflect “the beauty of Jesus” in my life to everyone that I come in contact with. This is what it is about; not to puff ourselves up but to listen to His voice so that He can speak through us.

If any of you have ever watched “The Cat In the Hat Knows A Lot About That”, you will note that there is always a jingle that the cat and his two friends sing as they begin their adventures which simply says, “go, go, go, go, go on an adventure.” At the beginning of 2013, I prayed that the Lord would give me many new opportunities throughout the year and to do something different that I have not done before. This blogging course is one of the many opportunities He has planned for me, and it will definitely be a new adventure.

Perhaps you have always wanted to go on a new adventure but haven’t had the courage to begin. There is never a right or wrong time to start–just do it and begin! He has so many adventures waiting for each and everyone of us; and once we recognize them and begin the journey, He will bring more opportunities along to help us grow and mature into the persons He wants us to be.

Happy adventures to you today!

Blessings,
Yvonne

Fall Forward or Backward

With the end of the summer months, the leaves have already started to change to their brilliant fall colors.  The clear, crisp, cooler air slowly beckons the beginning of the fall season.

If we fall forward, then the fall season is the beginning of what is to come–anticipation of what we are to expect for ourselves next spring.  It is a time of reflection, quiet, and rest on what has taken place in our lives over the heated months of summer–a look back at the past, but continually falling forward towards the future.

If we fall backward, that reminds us of the what if’s, could haves, and should haves that we missed on our life’s journey.  When we fall forward, we have so much to be thankful for and we are filled with an attitude that we can, we will, we are determined, and we are blessed.  And even in the midst of the winter months, we can continue to hope, dream, and anticipate greater opportunities so that we can truly morph into what God has created us to be.

Forgetting the past, we look to the future.  We can dare to dream and hope, anticipate only the good from lessons we will learn, create a new beginning, and forge ahead to bigger and better heights of lasting love, hope, and dreams.

Let us continue on our journey, anticipating what is to come, so that when spring does arrive, we will emerge refreshed and be changed for the better.

Blessings on you.

Fourth of July, 2012

This morning while I was out walking our dog, Buddy, my thoughts were filled with our country’s upcoming celebration of July 4th, Independence Day.

Most often when I think about celebrating July 4th, I envision being with family and friends for a picnic as well as watching a beautiful display of fireworks in the evening at our local park.  But this morning my thoughts were on all of those brave young men and women who have and continue to sacrifice their lives for our freedom.  It was during this time that the following thoughts came to me as I continued to walk and I wanted to share them with you:

 THE HANDS OF TIME
The Hands of Time keeps marching on,

Snatching up who it will.

It never slumbers nor sleeps,

Making a mockery of death.

But for all those who have gone on before us,

May they be remembered as they rest in peace.

And may we never forget their sacrifice in laying down their lives,

So that we can live in Freedom.

On Independence Day this year, may we have a renewed appreciation for all the men and women who have given their lives and for those who continue to do so to help shape this great country of ours.

May God bless us one and all and help us to continue to be thankful for our freedom. Because we truly live in a land that is indeed “the home of the brave and the free.”

Equal To or Lesser Than

Two weeks ago, my husband and I invited my daughter and her husband to go to dinner with us because we had received a “birthday card” in the mail for a dinner at a local area restaurant.  It said that if we purchased one dinner, we would receive another one of “equal or lesser value” for free.  Ordinarily we would not have used this card, but my son-in-law had just received word of an exciting job offer in another state, so we wanted to celebrate and go somewhere where they had not been before.

Both my husband and son-in-law ordered exactly the same dinner, and my daughter another dinner.  I, on the other hand, decided I could not eat that much food so I opted to get a wrap with one side–on the lighter side–which I barely finished.  We then ordered two desserts to share.

However, when the bill came, the waitress had deducted my “wrap” instead of the dinner of equal or lesser value.  When my husband questioned her, she said it used to be done that way.  Now their policy was to deduct the lesser meal.  Although my husband explained that my order was technically not a dinner, she would not back down.  We paid the bill and sadly left.

The next day I sent an email to the restaurant and explained that we were not disappointed in any way with the food–just the wording on the card–and felt “cheated” by the way the waitress handled our questions.  When I further noted that we had purchased three regular-priced dinners and that the waitress had deducted mine, they immediately apologized and sent us another card in the mail.  My husband and I plan to go back to the restaurant, and we will order two lower-cost dinners and bring any leftovers home for another meal.

As I thought about this incident throughout the week, the more I realized that God does not make us feel lesser than in His eyes.  He created us in His image and He treats us with the same unconditional love that encourages us as we daily walk in our faith with Him.  Let us continue to walk with Him throughout our journey and treat one another with His love.

Until next time, blessings on you.