Day 7: Same

God is eternally the same.

He is unchanging (Psalm 102:27; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 1:12; Hebrews 13:8).

This is wonderful news for us because it means that we can trust Him. Depend on Him. Rely on Him without hesitation.

But we, His children, however, are not  the same, that is, duplicates of each other.

We were not mass produced. 

He made each of us unique.

Although it is true that God uses some of the same tools to develop us, for example, His word, prayer, circumstances, the process by which He does so is not the same.

This is why it is essential that we do not compare our lives with others.

He is working out His plan for each of us, knows how to season us, so that we can fulfill the purpose for which He uniquely created us. 

This post is for Day 7 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Writing Challenge. The theme of my series is, “Season,” based on the definition, “make (wood) suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used.” Please click here to find the Table of Contents and links to other posts in the series.

Day 6: Notice

Humans have what is known as a negativity bias. We tend to “notice and respond more strongly to negative events than to equally positive ones, recall insults better than praise, and think about negative things more frequently than positive ones.”

Our Father has an antidote for the negativity bias. It is found in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]” (AMP). Notice, this is not a “once and done” event but an ongoing process. Our negativity bias could be considered moisture that needs to be drawn out of us, as wood is seasoned to make it suitable for the environment in which it will be used.

This post is for Day 6 of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Writing Challenge. The theme of my series is, “Season,” based on the definition, “make (wood) suitable for use as timber by adjusting its moisture content to that of the environment in which it will be used.” Please click here to find the Table of Contents and links to other posts in the series.

31 Days of Loving Well: Rest

REST.png

“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.  

31 Days of Loving Well: Refine

refine

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.
“Iron is taken out of the earth,
And copper is smelted from the stone ore.
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.

31 Days of Loving Well: Follow

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Week 5 – Loving my work well: Introduction

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.

31 Days of Loving Well: Connect

CONNECT

Leading Someone to Christ

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.

 

31 Days of Loving Well & FMF: Overcome

overcome

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).


Today’s post was written for Day 27 of the 31 Days of Loving Well series, and Five Minute Friday. This series, 31 Days of Loving Well, is part of the  31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes event. The prompt is, “Overcome.” Definitions are from dictionary.com and merriam-webster.com. To read other posts in the 31 Days of Loving Well series, please click here.