Tag Archives: words for daily living.

E-Mail Classic: “Perspectives”

First read this from the top down and then read it from the bottom  up! This is really neat!

PERSPECTIVES

Today was the absolute worst day ever.

And don’t try to convince me that

There is something good in every day.

Because, when you take a closer look

This world can be a pretty evil place.

Even if

Some goodness does shine through once in a while

Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.

And it’s not true that

It’s all in the mind and heart.

Because

True happiness can be obtained

Only if one’s surroundings are good.

It’s not true that good exists

I’m sure you can agree that

The Reality

Creates

My Attitude

It’s all beyond my control.

And you will never in a million years hear me say that

Today was a good day.


Now read it from the bottom up.

 

Wealth Stored for the Righteous-Part 6

I just can’t get away from Paul’s advice to “be content with such things as ye have” (Hebrews 13:5). I think what God is trying to convey to us is that this is the way we should live our lives, by looking at what He has blessed us with already … and not what He has blessed someone else with. And … to be grateful for what we have … not angry or envious at what someone else has.

Even in what we consider to be difficult times,” we must not lose this focus of first looking at what we already have “in our storehouse.” When the poor widow cried out to Elisha, his first response, his first question was, “What hast thou in the house?” (2 Kings 4:2). Sometimes, we are so overcome by our circumstances that we look elsewhere for a solution first … then, if that doesn’t pan out, we look somewhere else, and, well, you get the idea. It’s the same with prayer: Prayer shouldn’t be our last resort, it should always be first on the list. When you adopt this prayerful attitude about everything, you will begin to look around and realize what you already have. If you do this, I promise your first response will be one of thanksgiving for what you already have “in the house.” The only thing this poor widow apparently had in her house was a small amount of oil. How did that work out?

By the way, even in spite of her great need … she was still willing to give … in faith … of what she already had …

Remember, we already have the greatest gift: The gift of salvation, and Jesus living inside of us!
And, the Holy Spirit, inside of us, standing by, waiting, just waiting for us to realize we have His help too! The world teaches us, and I will admit that one of my all-time favorite quotes is from Henry David Thoreau: “What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Wow! I still love that quote! Years ago, I used to have a bracelet which had those very words inscribed. Mr. Thoreau’s quote is so true, yes Christian or not, and the world certainly uses this quote to inspire. Yet … think about this … As Christians, we have the very Spirit of God living inside of us! Living inside of us! And … just waiting … waiting … waiting … for you to ask for His help. If the world’s system can be furthered by statements such as this … how much more, yes “more than conquerors” (Romans 8:37) … should we be … If we have the very Spirit of God “within us?”

“Did he just say that this is true “Christian or not?” Yes, I did. We must remember that the world’s guiding principles were first originated by and through God’s Word. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about Military maneuvers, social hierarchy, work force delegation, money management, rules for success, it’s all there in the Bible. The world just takes a Biblical principle, and shapes it into “its own.” For instance, how about “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” from Galatians 6:7? This is a Biblical principle, God set it in place, and it applies regardless of lifestyle.

How about this one, Wall Street?: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6). The list goes on and on. Yes, this means that even “ungodly” people … are still, in a very real sense, living a life, and being rewarded for their actions … according to Biblical principles. They just don’t know the Source! Here’s one that, sadly perhaps, I have used for example purposes: “I have good news and I have bad news: Jesus is coming back.” Same thing applies to this statement: The fact that Jesus is returning is good news … in fact, great news. What should get us off of our “whatever it is that’s stopping us” is that this will be bad news to millions. Millions who will be lost, without Jesus, when that day comes. Remember that Paul used his description of the “end,” and the return of Jesus (2 Thessalonians) to encourage the church … and, to also make them realize there are so many who need Jesus, who, simply put, won’t be ready, and never, ever will be ready … unless someone tells them about Jesus, and about salvation … which is available only through Him. Period.

The wicked are storing up wealth for the righteous. What are we doing to share “the wealth” of what we have “within us?” Wealth that the world doesn’t understand … nor, will they understand … until it’s too late. Unless … unless someone intervenes in their lives … and explains to them what is, right now, available to them … just like it was made available to you.

When Jesus fed the 5,000, and then, in a separate miracle, He fed the 4,000, when the question arose among His disciples about how they could possibly feed so great a multitude, Jesus’ very first question was, in effect, “What do you have right now? What do you already have in your possession?” The miracle of feeding the 5,000 is found in Matthew 14, Mark 6, Luke 9, and John 6. The situation seemed hopeless. Thousands of people, and no food. What to do? Again, the first response Jesus gave, when questioned, “How …?” was this, and we quote from the feeding of the 4,000: “How many loaves have ye?” (Matthew 15:34; Mark 8:5). The secret to success? Bring what you already have to Him … and, He is more than capable of taking care of the rest. In fact, He wants to take care of the rest, but I think that first of all, we must realize what we already have. Allow Him to use that, especially allow Him to use that to bless others. If you will do that, just like with the “leftovers” from each of these miracles, there will be more than enough “left over” to take care of whatever need you may have.

He knows what you need. And, He knows what you already have. Are you ready to trust Him with what you already have in your storehouse? Or … is the real question, “Do you realize what you already have?” If so, then you will be able “in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6).
And, only then will “the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (verse 7).

Blessings,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

Special Video Commercial: “What Matters Most”

I never know when, or from where, I’ll gain inspiration.
Sometimes, it’s from a story I’ll just happen across, or video I find,
most always when I’m looking for something else.

Or, sometimes, a dear friend will send me a story or video, sometimes with a “Have you seen this one?” attached.

That’s the case with this one: This is a commercial from Thailand, from the Thai Life Insurance company. I hadn’t seen it, but I’ve watched it many times since.

The story, and its meaning, really touch a deep emotion within me, and I think the
same will happen to you. It’s about how we can make a difference in the lives of those we come in contact with every day … something we write about a lot …

As always, this is not an endorsement for the company … but certainly for the “emotions” which are so clearly defined and displayed here …

Enjoy the video commercial … and … “think about it!”

Victory Over Depression-Part Three

Hi Friends:

I’d like to offer some encouragement to help during times when we are feeling depressed, or perhaps what we experience more often, when we are feeling the depression of others. How often we have worked with people, or just run into people, who are so negative in their attitudes. They just always seem to be in a bad mood, and if we’re not careful … we’ll “get some on us.” It is so important who we “hang with,” who our friends are. We should make every attempt to surround ourselves with positive people. Yes, just like negative thinking and negative speaking, positive thinking and positive speaking is contagious. Make every attempt to surround yourself with people who create an atmosphere of victory with their attitude and words.

I think that what affects me negatively the most, is when I spend more time thinking-really “dwelling on” how I’ve failed … things I should have done, things I should have said …
What I should be doing is “dwelling on” Who dwells (lives, resides) in me. Instead of dwelling on my failures … I should be dwelling on what God has already done for me, how He has blessed me … How He has never, ever failed me … I believe that often, depression is the result of our anger turned toward ourselves, because of our faults and mistakes.

How different would our attitudes be if we spent more time thinking about what He’s done … instead of what I’ve done, or not done.
I need to think about Him.
Not about me.
Think about his goodness.
Not my badness.
Think about His good.
Not my bad.
Etc.

Colossians 3: 2 puts it this way: “Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth.”

Here’s the bottom line, and I hope this helps:
We don’t need to “dwell on.”
We need to “dwell in.”
The word “dwell” means to “live as a resident, to remain, to keep the attention directed, to exist, to abide, stay, to remain.”

Just this morning, I was greatly encouraged, and reminded of these great truths from 2 Chronicles: It’s ok not to know what to do at the moment, what the next step is … what is important is to know where to turn to find out: “… neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee” (20:12). Our battles, whatever we are struggling with, has already ended in victory, so we are to “Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (20:15). Just believe! “Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper” (20:20). If you really believe this … if you really believe this … your natural response should be-regardless of the situation around you-to praise God for what He has done, and for what you know He is going to do: “And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the enemy … and they were smitten (defeated)” (20:22). Looking for peace? So was Jehoshaphat, back in 2 Chronicles, chapter 20. He trusted in God, and here’s how it worked out: “So the realm of Jehoshaphat was quiet: for his God gave him rest round about” (20:23). Man! That 2 Chronicles, chapter 20 is something!

Something else I feel is important: Take one victory at a time. Enjoy each victory … just remember “from whence it came.” And … one more time … Read your Bible … If God did it for them … He will do it for you. God hasn’t changed: This means that, still, today, there is nothing He can’t do … and, still, today, there is nothing too hard for Him …
An oldie, but still a goodie:
No Jesus.
No peace.
Know Jesus.
Know peace.

I’d like to share a couple of verses from the book of 1 Samuel which will encourage us to remember that if God did it for someone else, then He can-and will-do it for me. When David was facing Goliath (and how many of us are, right now, facing “Goliaths” in our lives?), here is what David said: “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine” (17:37). How many of us are facing a possible promotion, or job change? First … know that “they” are not your provider … God is. This is what Samuel said: “It is the LORD that advanced (raised up) Moses and Aaron, and that brought your fathers up out of the land of Egypt” (12:6). Yes, it is the Lord who promotes!

So … be encouraged! As Samuel said, “For the LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people” (1 Samuel 12:22).
We’ll close with the very next verse … as a reminder to us all to pray for others … remember that God “turned the captivity of Job” when Job prayed for his friends? Here’s verse 23: “Moreover as for me, God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.”

Please pray for us.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.
Modern-Day Psalms

Victory Over Depression-Part Two

Hi Friends:

Please allow me to reiterate that, in-or out-of ministry, you will never look into the eyes of someone who has not suffered great pain. And, we all get depressed sometimes. I am constantly reminded of what a Pastor once told me: “You would be surprised to learn how many Pastors suffer from depression.” Yes, we would be surprised … yet … don’t we sometimes forget that Pastors … that all church leaders … are “people,” too.

In our business, we are honored to serve many Pastors, and other church leaders, with personalized plaques. One thing that the Lord revealed to me about the poem “Why, Pastor, Why,” or any plaque we send to honor a specific Pastor or church leader: We never know where they may be, with their relationship with God, or their congregation. I was reminded of the importance of “honoring those who honor Him.” We never know what that particular person may be going through. And, that the plaque we are sending to them may be the difference … may be just the “spark” they need to make a difference in how they view their calling … and, their flock … We try to pray over every plaque we send … to pray for the person being honored … and, for the person-or group-which are honoring them.

These same thoughts carry the same weight in dealing with those who aren’t in church leadership. Let us never forget that those around us, whether they are showing it or not, are going through their own battles. And, yes, a small percentage of those people may, at some point, come to us for advice. I pray every day that people will see Jesus in me. Every day. To me, that’s the most important thing about what I may or may not do, in a given day. And, especially when someone comes to me with a personal problem, something they are having trouble with (and, let’s face it, often the problem is with “someone” they are having trouble with), I want to be sure the Spirit gives me exactly the right thing to say. And, here goes … If I can’t say the right thing, Lord … please help me to not say anything!

So, we all face depression of one degree or another. It’s just part of being a human being. But, it’s how we deal with these negative feelings that makes the difference. Yes, I get depressed, sometimes. We all do. It’s just “part of it.” The difference is how we allow these negative feelings to affect us. So, I’d like to help you with a couple of thoughts about what to do when these “feelings” try to take over. The phrase “take over” is critical here. If we allow any thought or feeling to take over our mind … that’s just what it will do. It will “take over” every part of our thoughts … leading to taking over every part of our actions.

First … Please … Please … Please …
Talk to Jesus.
Period.

If you don’t do this … and, I hate to tell you this, but I must:
If you don’t “tell it to Jesus,” don’t go to Him first … you are already on losing ground. I know that’s hard, but it’s true. The key over everything-and certainly including depression-is … your relationship with Jesus. And, I’ll say it again … How can you have a relationship with someone you don’t talk to? And … how can you trust someone you don’t know? And, again, how important is it for you to start each day with Prayer and Bible study? So, first talk to Jesus.

One of my favorite verses is always “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). Just knowing that we can go directly to God’s throne should be a major comfort to us:
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
How about this one: “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear …” (Hebrews 13:6). So, go to Jesus first.

Should I talk to others about my issues? Now … that’s a loaded question. There is the old saying that “misery loves company.” The reason that’s an old saying is because it is still true. Be careful who you go to for advice. Period. You should, and it is Scriptural, seek counsel: “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” (Proverbs 1:5). Notice how early this verse comes in “the book of Wisdom.” In fact, how about this: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14). Please ask God to lead you to the right person to speak to, and God will make that happen. Please, though, and we’ve all done this … Please don’t pick someone out to talk to, just because they will agree with you … Go to someone who will tell you the truth … even if it hurts to hear what you may have to do … If God sends you to someone, there is a reason … so, hear this verse from Proverbs 12:15: “he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”
Just be sure of the source! Again, please be careful who you speak with! God is not the only one who is capable of sending someone to speak with/influence you! That had to be said!

Solomon is considered the wisest man who ever lived. We’ve all read his words. Yet … here we are, some 3,000 years later, and we are still struggling with the exact same things, the same questions, which he had. Remember that Solomon changed over time … Why? How? One of the main reasons Solomon changed was because of who he allowed to influence him: His friends, his associates, yes, his wives-and his wives’ families … So, I just can’t say enough how important it is … who you “hang with” … who your friends are … who you allow to influence you …

It’s all about relationships, isn’t it? If it’s one thing that has “gotten me down” over the years, it has been relationships, and especially who I allowed to influence me. On the other hand … and I write this to encourage you … it there’s one thing that has changed my way of thinking … helped me “come out of it” over the years, it has been those positive influences in my life …

I’m going to say this, and it’s a tough, tough, thing, but it is true and tested:
You just can’t have enough positive influences in your life. And, not just people. Read … expose yourself to positive stories … stories which will encourage and inspire you …
On the other hand (here’s the tough, but must be said part):
It can take only one “bad” influence to bring all of the dominoes down.
So, put your relationship with Jesus at the top of the list.
He will supply the rest of the list for you.

One more verse which helps me so much:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

There is another verse which I feel led to share with you … a verse I shout over … which encourages me so much … It is from Isaiah … Wait! Let’s read this one first:
“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am they God: I will strengthen thee, yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Isaiah 41:10). Now, here’s the verse which takes so much fear away: “In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee” (Isaiah 54:14). Yes! That says that even “terror shall not come near me!”

God’s Word is so good! So true! And … so necessary!
Hope this helps!

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

PS: Here’s the link to our first entry on “Victory Over Depression”
Victory Over Depression

“Period” Art Words: “Begin a New Day”-Part Two

Well, since I wrote Part One, we have had overnight low temperatures up here from 15 to 25 below zero. In fact, as I write this on an early evening, it is already below zero. That’s ok: it’s going to be “warmer” tonight than last night (only -10), so we’ll take that as a positive. And … get this … we may actually see 30 degrees (above!) tomorrow … before it’s back to near 20 below in a couple of nights … Last Friday, when I left School, it was 17 degrees (above zero!), and it felt like Spring. I remember that it was 16 degrees on my front deck, and I felt like I should be wearing just a t-shirt. So … it really is just a matter of perspective … how you look at things … your attitude. Since that writing, we’ve had a couple of snowstorms, with another one set to arrive on Sunday … into Monday.

One of the things I had to learn over the last few years up here in the North Country:
Never, ever say, “It’s too cold to snow.”
Now, I can add to that, something else I guess I should never say … something I had let “slip out” a couple of times over the last couple of days:
“Looks like this will be the first “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” where I won’t have to shovel snow.”

Anyway, I remind myself again, that, you just never, ever know what the day will bring. That’s why it’s so important to start your day the right way. We all work with people who seem to always be in a bad mood, and, you take it personally when they turn on you. My stock reaction to these people is this: “They weren’t in a good mood when they got here.”

It is so important to “Begin a New Day” with the correct attitude. And, I believe the only way to achieve that is by going to the One Person who controls the day, who already knows what the day is going to hold … By starting the day with prayer and reading His Word. Why would you not consult with the One who already knows what’s “coming up,” and, most importantly, can give you the advice to get through it, no matter what comes along.

I am reminded of the quote from Mother Teresa, and this is a paraphrase from memory:
“Lord, help me to remember that there is nothing that can happen today, which you and I can’t handle together.”
So, why not get a head start?

Something tells me I’m not going to get to that piece of artwork, which was the original idea …

Often, I mention that people ask me for suggestions about what are the best Scriptures to read during your morning Bible study. First, I think that should be a choice of what you believe God is directing you to read and study. If you aren’t sure, how about starting with one of your favorite passages of Scripture, and allow God to lead you from there. If you will begin, and be sincere, He will lead you into what to read next.

I must say that one of my favorite books to read from, especially first thing in the morning (and the same rule would apply at night), is the Psalms. One of the reasons is that, yes, they are so good, but, most of the chapters are short, allowing you to read an entire chapter in one sitting. I know that time is critical in the morning (even more of a reason to start the day with Him), and being able to read an entire chapter just gives you a boost on its own. Plus, the messages from the Psalms, reading that David faced the same struggles which you are facing, are so encouraging.

Here’s what David wrote about this “Begin the Day” situation:
“My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalms 5:3). Look how early in the Psalms this word comes. Notice that it begins with “my voice,” meaning that David is beginning the day with prayer-first. He is confident that God will hear his voice, which is so important. I like the fact that, before David talks to anyone else … friends … family … neighbors … the television … the radio … the stereo … he directs his communication to God. Then, he looks up, which I can see as David, after praying to, speaking to God … he then listens … As important as it is to speak to Him, we must follow that up with listening to Him … I also like the way that David is just as confident, just as certain, that God will hear him … as he is confident, just as certain, that God will speak to him …

Now, let’s see what Jeremiah wrote about this “Begin the Day” situation:
“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23).
So, God’s mercies are made new-to us-every morning. Hey-That even includes weekends!
Isn’t it great to know that we really can get a fresh start … every morning!
When I read these two verses from Lamentations, I couldn’t help but read the next two verses:
“The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him” (Lamentations 3:24, 25).
How much do I love the fact that God is good to those who seek Him … who hope in Him.

When I think about what makes Christians different from the world, and how those we know, who are “in the world” handle the tough things which life throws at all of us, I think of this verse. It is because, as Christians, we have hope. Hope which the world just doesn’t have. Just knowing that we know the One who holds the future … and, holds us … makes all the difference “in the world.”

As the old saying goes, “I may not know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” I can hold onto that hope, my hope, by holding on to Him. When we think of the future, often, we think of things a long way off. I need His help to get through today!

If I can start the day off right … then, I’ve gotten off to the right start … and, I like my chances … As long as I keep Him near me every moment of every day.

Just yesterday morning, after I had a tough “day before,” which would involve me thinking much about the future … As I was praying, speaking to God about the situation, God broke through my prayer, and gave me, spoke to me, quoted to me, a particular verse, from Philippians. The meaning was clear, and I would study the passage for my morning Bible study. It spoke directly to me about the future, and God’s place in it. Immediately, God’s peace flooded my entire being, and, I’m not worried or anxious about this particular situation anymore. In fact, I won’t worry about this particular situation ever again.

This is another example of why it is so important to “Begin the Day” the right way.
By speaking to … listening to … the One who holds today, and all of my tomorrows.

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.

 

“Period” Art Words: “Begin a New Day”-Part One

I try to never, ever miss an opportunity to encourage you to start your day-the very first thing, the very first part of your day-with prayer and reading God’s Word. I try to, between hitting the snooze button on the alarm, talk to God, before I even get out of bed. I try to always begin the day, and begin each prayer, with just thanking God, praising God, for His love, His grace, and His mercy, and by reminding myself that “This is the day the Lord has made.”

I need all the help I can get! It’s tough out there! How can I … and, how can I be expected to … face the day alone? Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … And, let’s prepare for it: When you open that door to leave your house, you are stepping out into a lost and dying world. A world that is desperately crying out, in many different ways and forms. A world where so many have lost hope … don’t even know what “hope” is. And … Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … A world which will do everything within its power to make you lose your hope. And … Let’s face it … Let’s realize it … A world which will do everything in its power to influence you. A world which will send people and circumstances after you … to defeat you … to take away, yes, to steal, your joy, your strength, and your Christian testimony.
Period.
And, here’s another really, really, really tough part: A world that is more powerful than you are … on your own.
Period.

In a few, short words, you are stepping out into a world which needs Jesus.
Period.

How can we step out there without Him? Without checking with Him first? He wants so desperately to hear from you … to begin the process … in order for you to be able to hear from Him.
I try to pray every day to think the right thing … to do the right thing … to say the right thing. My “bottom-line” prayer for the day is that others will see Jesus in me. That’s it. Period.
Guess what? So often, I fail miserably. So often, I don’t think the right thing. I don’t do the right thing. And, Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! I don’t say the right thing. So many days, I’ve “got it down,” I am having a great day … hitting on all cylinders … when, from out of the blue … someone will cross my path, I’ll run into someone, and it seems like all of the dominoes have fallen down.

This is where forgiveness comes in. To have the faith and courage to “get back out there” and go again! That’s what “another day” is for. God gives us another day to “work at it.” But, I can’t begin to “work at it,” I can’t begin to improve, to get better … unless I “begin” with Him. He is my Help … my everything. Why would I not begin this new day without checking in with Him first?
Remember this: He knows what the day holds. You don’t.
To get through it, you are going to need Him. The great thing is that He wants to help you! He wants to listen to you! He wants to speak to you!
Every moment of every day.
But, it must start by “Starting” with Him.
Time with Him.
Talking to Him.
Listening to Him.

Sad … Unfortunate … Yet, true … There are so many which don’t have what you have. They don’t have the help that you have. They may not even know that such a “Help” exists.
Well … that’s where you come in … to truly fulfill your purpose … your mission … What you are really here for, to “Begin” with … To show forth His glory, His love, to a lost and dying world. How will they know unless someone tells them … shares with them … “makes known the reason for our hope” …

My intention was to share with you one of the works of Christian art which we feature over at our online store, entitled “Begin a New Day,” but I must put that aside, in order to share this message instead. God loves you so much … He sent His only Son, Jesus, and Jesus, because of His love for you … agreed to come! He agreed to step down from His throne in Glory, and take human form … knowing that He would die a cruel, vicious death … but, He was willing to do this, to die, in order that we could live …. Live victoriously, and not just in this world, but to live with Him, forever, in Heaven … He made sure of this by rising from the dead, thereby gaining victory, for all time, over sin and death … Jesus suffered with the same things we suffered (including that “being betrayed by those closest to Him” thing), and He was tempted by everything that we are tempted by! However … He was able to do all this without sin … to do it “perfectly,” because He was perfect. So … why would we not “pull Him aside” and ask for His help and advice before we go out that door??? Why would we not “follow His lead” instead of what the world is trying to get us to follow???

Why would we not do what He did? How did He start each day? He prayed. Yes, sometimes, He would pray for hours … He had a habit (to use a “human understanding” term) of going off by Himself alone … alone, by Himself … away from all of life’s distractions … and, He would pray … just talk to His Heavenly Father. He would talk … and, He would listen. That’s an example!

Back to the sad part … yet, we must really come to terms with this: Yes, we must be the best example of Jesus we can be. Yet, despite our best efforts, we still can’t control someone else’s actions. You can only control your actions.
And, you can’t do that without God’s help.
So, ask Him for his help. Every day.
No, you still can’t make someone listen to you. You can’t make someone hear your message. When you chose to follow God’s leading … it was just that-a choice.
They have the same choice you did.
And, both choices come with their own consequences. And, you can’t change that, either.
Your job is to speak the Word. If you do this by example, people will come to you. God will make sure of that. You still can’t make them accept what has changed you, what has made you “so different from everyone else they know,” but it is still their choice.

I don’t know about you, but the worst things which ever happened to me … came as a result of someone else’s influence over me. And, it wasn’t always a “person.” Yet, the only way to say this is this: Don’t let someone else’s wrong actions influence your actions. If it is wrong for them, it’s wrong for you. If they suffer as a result of their action, you will suffer, too.

One thing more we must address:
We can’t change the events of yesterday. One of the great things about going to God first thing in the morning is this: We can ask for, and receive forgiveness. We can, at least between God and us (and, isn’t that the most important thing to straighten out?), get things straightened out, to talk about “what went wrong” yesterday … and, to get that help for today … That just sounds so simple, yet so awesome … And, it is both … Start the day with thankfulness to a great, loving God, who has given you-yes, given you-another day, to “get it right.”

You just can’t “get it right” until you “get it right” with Him … first.
So, maybe we can’t change the events of yesterday. Or, someone else’s actions. But, we can change our actions, our thoughts, and our words. Not without His help, but there won’t be any hesitation on His side.

What a gift today is.
Why not start it off, “begin the day” right?

Blessings to you, and your family,
Richard. Vincent. Rose.