“And by the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested (ceased) on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it [as His own, that is, set it apart as holy from other days], because in it He rested from all His work which He had created and done.” (Genesis 2:2-3, AMP)
Few things can foster an appreciation for rest the way a day of challenging work can. Work that was demanding and stretched us. Left us mentally and/or physically tired. Few things can foster an appreciation for rest the way a day of challenging work can. But it is possible to ruin rest by worrying about what happened during the work day or what has to be done the next day. May we embrace rest by following the instructions in 1 Peter 5:7 and Philippians 4:6-7; let us cast every care on our Father who cares for us, pray about everything and allow His peace to guard our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Today’s post was written for Day 31, the final day of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. It was fitting that the final prompt is “Rest.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who accompanied me on this journey by praying for me and/or reading a post.
Refine (transitive verb)
1 :to free (something, such as metal, sugar, or oil) from impurities or unwanted material
2 :to free from moral imperfection :elevate
3 :to improve or perfect by pruning or polishing
4 :to reduce in vigor or intensity
5 :to free from what is coarse, vulgar, or uncouth
1 “Surely there is a mine for silver,
And a place where they refine gold. 2 “Iron is taken out of the earth,
And copper is smelted from the stone ore. 3 “Man puts an end to darkness [by bringing in a light],
And to the farthest bounds he searches out
The rock buried in gloom and deep shadow.”
(Job 28:1-3, AMP)
As I continue to reflect on what it means to love my work well, I feel the need to acknowledge that I am not speaking of loving my work the way in which I love God or a person. Also, I acknowledge that if I am not careful, I can elevate work or anything to the place where only God must be. That being said, I recognize that I can have deep appreciation for my work and the opportunities it can provide to develop and refine my skills. In addition, I can deeply appreciate how God can and has used work to refine me. In my work He has exposed pride and my deep need of Him. He is also teaching me patience. Thanks be to God for the gift of work.
Today’s post was written for Day 30 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Refine.” The definitions of “Refine” are from merriam-webster.com. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
Work. Too often, I view my work as something I have to do. I want to change my perspective. I want to see my work as a privilege. A blessing. Even on the hard days.
“As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He noticed two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And He said to them, “Follow Me [as My disciples, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk], and I will make you fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him [becoming His disciples, believing and trusting in Him and following His example].” (Matthew 4:18-20, AMP)
“As Jesus went on from there, He saw a man named Matthew (Levi) sitting in the tax collector’s booth; and He said to him, “Follow Me [as My disciple, accepting Me as your Master and Teacher and walking the same path of life that I walk].” And Matthew got up and followed Him.” (Matthew 9:9, AMP)
When Jesus called his disciples, told them, “Follow Me,” their obedience to his call required them to leave the work they were doing. For Simon Peter and Andrew, the two brothers, following Jesus required them to leave their fishing boats. For Matthew, it required him to leave his work as a tax collector. For me, and I suspect for many other Christians, His call to follow Him, leaves us in the same workplaces, in the same dailyness of our lives. He leaves us doing the same thing(s) but for a different purpose. We learn that our work is worship and this change in perspective is one reason we can love our work well.
Today’s post was written for Day 29 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Follow.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
God wants us to love people unconditionally… to serve them, to help them, to pray for them, to show compassion to them in tangible ways. And in doing so we will show forth the love and grace of our God to a lost and dying world. But, all the love and service in the world can’t save a person. There has to be a point where someone opens their mouth and tells people the truth about sin, eternity, Christ’s love and the saving grace that’s only found in Jesus Christ.”
One of the most important and fulfilling parts of being a follower of Christ is leading someone to receive salvation and start a relationship with the Lord. (The Oaks Fellowship. Retrieved October 28, 2017)
“When we invite others to come to the Person of Jesus, telling of His wondrous love and sharing what Jesus has done in our lives, the gentleness of Christ is seen in us, and others will be drawn to Him.” – Jack Hayford. (jackhayford.org. Retrieved October 28, 2017)
In this fourth week of the 31 Days of Loving Well series, I have reflected on loving those I do not know, well. As I write this final post of the week, I am convinced that the ultimate way to love those I do not know, well (and anyone else in my life) is to connect them to Jesus.
To connect (transitive verb) is to place or establish in relationship. It is true that I cannot make someone chose to accept Jesus as Savior; however, the quotes cited above remind me that I have been given the privilege and have been commissioned and empowered by God to invite others to come to Him, by my words and my life.
Today’s post was written for Day 28 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Connect.” The definition of “Connect” is from merriam-webster.com. The quotes were added before the 5 minute timer began. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
Bias, defined as, “A particular tendency, trend, inclination, feeling or opinion, especially one that is preconceived or unreasoned.” Biases. We all have them. Sometimes we dress our biases up in pretty clothing and call them “preferences.” Preferences, which Merriam-Webster tells me, “suggest a choice guided by one’s judgment or predilections. (A preference for cool weather).” But I see preferences as being relevant to things, not people.
A bias is not a preference. It is “an inclination of temperament or outlook; especially: a personal and sometimes unreasoned judgment: PREJUDICE.” Prejudice, “an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge.”
What does bias have to do with loving those I do not know, well? Everything. I need, with the help of the Holy Spirit to recognize and overcome, “successfully deal with” my biases, if I am to imitate my Father and “walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
The idea for today’s post came from the article, “Nine Strangers Who Can Change Your Life” by Amy Shearn, on oprah.com. Some of the strangers she mentioned included, “The Beleaguered Woman Who Actually Wants to Watch Dances With Wolves,” who taught her the lesson, there is no excuse to be a jerk. And, “Your Friend’s Wretched Boss,” who teaches you never to be demeaning to people who work for you. And my personal favorite, “The Writer of the Right Words at the Right Time,” who was kind enough to share her story and her words find you at the exact moment when you needed it.
And I wonder, what would it be like to be a stranger who God uses to touch, even change another stranger’s life? I believe it is possible. Think of it. Psalm 37:23 tells us, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives” (NLT). I believe that it is okay to ask Him to use us to touch someone’s life in a meaningful way every day, for their good and His glory alone.
Today’s post was written for Day 26 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Change.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
1 :for the reason that :SINCE
2 :the fact that :THAT
//“For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and ability to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:13, ISV). I referenced this verse in the introduction to my posts for this week, which focus on loving others I do not know, well. As I continue to reflect on it, I am trying to understand what pleases my Father, with regard to how I treat those I do not know well. And my attention was directed to Hebrews 13:2 (AMP), which states “Do not neglect to extend hospitality to strangers [especially among the family of believers – being friendly, cordial, and graciously, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
In addition, I found Matthew 25:31-46 (AMP). Time will not permit me to include all the verses here but I will attach a link later. The following is clear: He expects me to feed the hungry, give the thirsty something to drink, invite the stranger in, clothe the naked, and visit those who are sick and imprisoned. This feels like a tall order but then there is Philippians 2:13.//
Sometimes these actions can mean supporting ministries or organizations already providing these services. At other times (perhaps more than I am comfortable with), it will be my hands, feet, etc., that He wants to use directly. Whatever form He requires my involvement to take, this remains true – I can do what He requires of me because He gives me both the desire and ability to do what pleases Him. And I pray that increasingly, pleasing Him will be the motive for what I do.
Today’s post was written for Day 25 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The content outside the double // was added outside of the five minute time frame. The prompt is, “Because.” The definitions of “Because” are from merriam-webster.com. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
First impressions. According to Will Rogers or Oscar Wilde, (depending on your source), “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” I think of the fact that first impressions are usually based on outward appearances and are formed in a short period of time.
In addition, I think of a statement by Amon Towles, in the book A Gentleman in Moscow (cited on the goodreads website), “After all, what can a first impression tell us about someone we’ve just met for a minute in the lobby of a hotel? …Why no more than a chord can tell us about Beethoven, or a brushstroke about Botticelli...”
But more important than the words of Will Rogers, Oscar Wilde, or Amon Towles, are the words of the Eternal, Omniscient God: “You should not judge by outward appearance. When you judge, search for what is right and just” (John 7:24, VOICE). And “…Now I know in part [just fragments]…” (1 Corinthians 13:12, AMP). The verses highlight the need for me to make changes to correct or improve (that is, revise) the manner in which I evaluate people I meet for the first time (and everyone else).
Today’s post was written for Day 24 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Revise.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
“Whatever you do, work at it wholeheartedly as though you were doing it for the Lord and not merely for people. You know that it is from the Lord that you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is the Lord Messiah whom you are serving!” (Colossians 3:23-24, ISV)
//Negativity can be contagious and in a work place, opportunities to be negative can increase during demanding times. It can be easy to complain and easy to find others who are willing to form a choir of complainers, or at least a quartet. Colossians 3:23-24, however, provides a perspective about work that can serve as an antidote to negativity. As a child of God, when I purpose to work wholeheartedly at whatever I do, based on the recognition that I am serving God through my work, I am less likely to complain. Instead of complaining and spreading negativity, with God’s help, I can be a source of encouragement and support to my co-workers.//
Most of my interactions with the majority of my co-workers occur at work. As such, the bulk of my knowledge of many of my co-workers is comprised of work related matters with a dash of personal information. However, although my personal knowledge of most of my colleagues is limited, being a source of encouragement and support in the work place, and striving for excellence in my work are ways in which I can behave in loving manner to my colleagues.
Today’s post was written for Day 23 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The content outside of the double // was written before or after the five minute time frame. The prompt is, “Work.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.
Week 4 – Loving people I do not know, well: Introduction
The idea of loving people I do not know, well, seems far-fetched. Isn’t knowledge and a relationship necessary for loving well? But, within me, I sense this truth, “I can behave in loving ways without feeling love.” And I see that, of all the ways of loving well that I have reflected on in this 31 Days of Loving Well series, this one, “Loving people I do not know well,” highlights the fact that love is a decision. But, while it is true that I can behave in loving ways without feeling love, I cannot do so in my own strength. So I thank God for the truth of Philippians 2:13 (ISV), “For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him.”
The following question was posted on the boyslife.org website, “I have a lantern that has a removable glass covering, and it has soot all over it. How can I get it off?” The answer is to wash it with soapy water. The last sentence in the answer states, “New lantern or old though, a clean globe will improve the brightness of your lantern …” And, as I think of the light of God within me, and allowing His light to be visible in me, I recognize the need to keep the “globe” of my life, so to speak, clean. And I do so by allowing my life to be washed in the water of the Word. Allowing His light to be visible in me, is one way I can love (behave in a loving manner to) those I do not know, well.
Today’s edited post was written for Day 22 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series. The prompt is, “Light.” To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.