Archives for January 2012

Beginning the New Year with a Better Me

As the end of January 2012 comes to a close, we wanted to reflect on our theme of “Becoming a Better Man”  for January.  Thanks for all of your encouraging and insightful comments about our posts.  We love to hear how God is working in your lives.

Day #1   STRONG WORDS

Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 

Romans 12:9

    
 “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord.”
         Romans 12:11

 

 

Day #3 IMPROVING OUR RELATIONSHIPS

Honor one another above yourself.  

Romans 12: 10

 

Day #4  TRUSTING GOD DURING THE HARD TIME

 “Be patient in affliction”  Romans 12: 12


Day #5   Hostess With The Mostess

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.  

Romans 12:13

Day #6  How Do You Deal With Conflict?

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, be at peace with everyone.  

Romans 12:18


Day #7  I hope…

Be JOYFUL IN HOPE.  

Romans 12:12


Day #8 Have You Had Your Cup Of Humble Today?

Do not be conceited.  

Romans 12:16

Next month we have some great things to share on LOVE, along with new recipes and a Valentine’s Giveaway.

All I need is…

Written By Jen

Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So, spread your love everywhere you go.
Mother Teresa

Day #8: Have You Had Your Cup Of Humble Today?

Written By Amy

The verses in Romans 12 that Jen and I are focusing on this month are not the easiest to digest.  The bible is full of  encouraging words of grace, love and gentle whispers of God’s kindness, and we need to have those for the healing life of our spirit.   But, we need to hear the challenging, character growing words too.  God, in his vast and deep love for the health of our soul,  cares about us growing spiritually, into better people, more like him.

Today’s verse is Romans 12:16 (the last part)      Do not be conceited.

We all know the type; those big-headed, stuck-up, arrogant, self-important, snotty people.  I think it’s easy for us to notice people like this becasue they are so overt about looking down on others and expressing their greatness to all around them.  Most of us do a pretty good job of not being “those people.”  Yet, how good are we at being the opposite?  If God is asking us not to be conceited, than is he asking for the other side of the coin?   I think he is asking us to live in a place of humility.

Who do we look to for our example of Humility?  Jesus.  He is strength in humility.  The one who had bragging rights, who was truly better than everyone else, died at the hands of the conceited, willfully, out of obedience to God.  When we struggle with being less, not getting what we think we deserve, being treated worse than we should,  we look to the life of Jesus, and find strength in our hope in God.

 

In his sacrifice on the cross, we are redeemed.  We do not need to strive or be “good enough” for God, or anyone.

 

Humility, not by their own choice. They are the forgotten, the less-than, the un-important in the eyes of the world–truly, or poverty would not exist.

Jesus was the greatest model for us of putting ourselves below others, in service and humility (less of me!)

 

Mother Theresa….a close second.

Finally, nature (the expression of God himself) exposes our smallness, brings us face to face with humility (we are at the mercy of something bigger than ourselves).

Thank you, for being humble enough to read this post.

 

Day #7 I hope…

Written By Jen

Be joyful in hope.

I have a lot of questions on this one.

What on earth does that mean?  What does it look like?  How does it make us better?  What if we are not?  What does that look like?  Does everyone hope?  What is the opposite of joyful?  What is hope without joy?  What is the difference between a hope, a goal, a desire, a demand, and a wish?   What is the role of control, greed, and expectation in hope? What effects the joy in our hope?  Can this be taught?  How? I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on these questions.

Be JOYFUL IN HOPE.

I was raised to, “Hope for the best. Plan for the worst.”  This allows me to be joyful in hope, because there was no guarantee of my hope coming true.  Hope was free, with no strings.  It was safe to hope.  Hope was not an expectation, entitlement or guarantee.  It was simply a hope.  It also made me consider what if it doesn’t happen?  Then, you must plan for that.  Always make a plan for the worst.  Then it doesn’t catch you by surprise.  I will call it grounded hope.

The definition:

Joyful: expressing or (love this) producing joy.  Synonyms: blissful; delighted; gratified; happy; glad; pleased; satisfied; thankful. Antonyms: displeased; dissatisfied; joyless; sad; unhappy; unpleased; unsatisfied.

Hope: to cherish a desire with anticipation; trust; expect with confidence; to desire with expectation of obtainment. Synonyms: anticipate, await, watch for. Antonyms: doubt, question.

I looked up about 15 verses in the Bible on hope, and almost every-time it mentioned hope it also mentioned trusting God’s UNFAILING LOVE.  That is RICH.  Did you hear that friends.  If we want joy in our hope we need to believe in God’s unfailing love.  It seemed the two were tied together.

Day #6: How Do You Deal With conflict?

Written By Amy

Living at peace with everyone is sometimes difficult.  Conflict seems to permeate all areas of our lives:

  •  the angry driver in the adjacent car
  • your child’s friendship struggles
  • tension in the marriage
  • family member who is upset
  • siblings arguing
  • a difficult co-worker
  • a frustrated customer in the line ahead of you
  • a friend who is distant
  • A rude “customer service” agent

Yesterday my husband and I spent a couple of hours working through some conflict issues with one of our children.  Today I had a client at work yell at me.  Tomorrow…well, hopefully…

Life is just messy.  And the messy-ness is extremely unpredictable.  Conflict seems to come out of nowhere, and when we least expect it.  God knows what we are talking about, and he has given us some perspective to help us walk through the yuck.

Here is today’s verse in Romans:

Live in harmony with one another, if it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Romans 12: 16, 18

In the verse above, God says to live in harmony with one another, in fact with everyone.  This is so me.  I’ve realized one of my highest goals in life is to try to not have conflict with anyone–and it’s not because I have spiritually mastered this verse.  No, the simple fact is I don’t like conflict of any kind, it is a dark cloud that hangs over me, and sometimes I have to deal with the fact that the conflict is the result of a character issue inside of me.  For selfish and protective reasons I hide from conflict, most often through avoidance and people-pleasing.

But God has a higher calling for me. It’s the “as far as it depends on you” part of this verse.  He wants me to seek peace not by avoiding, but by facing the issue head on, with incredible selflessness.  You see, seeking true peace often means setting my pride aside, asking forgiveness, communicating feelings in love, wearing humility, taking responsibility for my actions,  listening AND hearing, seeing another’s perspective, and setting healthy boundaries.  Oh and let’s not forget this golden nugget:     Not Reacting.    Not things I usually jump out of bed in the morning excited to tackle!  Yet, God is asking us to walk the higher ground, in every situation.

We can’t overlook the  important middle of this verse.  It says to live in harmony….if it is possible.    Sometimes it’s not possible.  Sometimes we have tried everything we can to restore harmony in the relationship, and it still is not peaceful.  Sometimes the other person just doesn’t want restoration.  Let it go, give it to God.

As we work to “become better” people, remember God does not ask us to do it alone.  Thank God.

 

 

 

 

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