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Selfless In A Selfie World

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Philippians 2_5-8 imageDo you know who the most selfless person in your sphere of influence is? If so, who? Think about that.

I know of a couple of people who are selfless, but not 100%. Only when it suits them. It’s kind of fake.

When we meet people who are 100% selfless, we’re drawn to them.

Sometimes selflessness isn’t natural to us. Maybe, hopelessness is? We live in a culture that promotes selfishness.

Suzie asks:

How do we develop selflessness in a selfie world, and why would we?

First, read the scripture image above. It says why we would be selfless.

We want to look like Yeshua (Jesus) to the world. We will, the more we are selfless.

It’s as plain as that.

Suzie quote: “We talk a lot about Jesus, but the world needs to see Jesus in us.”

Borrowed from Suzie:

Jesus emptied himself and he served. By doing so he changed the world forever. He served a demonically oppressed man, and chains were broken. He sought the lost lamb, and it was restored to the flock. He noticed a woman caught in sin, and she was restored.

In each of these, he wasn’t self-focused. He saw. He heard. He responded. The world stood back in awe. It was different. Faith had never looked like this.

Right now, our world, our children, our marriages, our churches, our faith desperately need Jesus in the lives of those who follow him.

And how?

Don’t do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble toward one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another’s interests, not just for your own. Philippians 2:3-4

It’s as plain as that!

We are loved by Yahweh. That’s all we need.

We are still who Yahweh made us to be. We have our personalities. Only with a twist because, the Holy Spirit resides in us. He influences us, when we allow Him to, in what we say and do.

“The king will answer them, ‘I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you did for one of my brothers or sisters, no matter how unimportant [they seemed], you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

From Suzie:

Day #14 of Living a Life of Thank You

Let’s take a break and just chat today. I want to hear how you are doing.

Did you join the 24-hour “No Complaint” challenge? How did it go? I wrestled for awhile with what a “no complaint” day might look like, and finally settled into it. I like it. There were a couple of times when I started to say something, and felt a gentle check in my spirit.

Is God showing you something that you want to share?

We have only 7 more days in this journey. What are you asking God to do in our remaining time together?

Me: I did participate in the 24 hr “No Complaint” challenge. My experience was like Suzie’s above. Only, with some crankiness because weariness of prepping for moving, etc.

The only thing I can I can tell in what Yahweh is showing me is that I need to stop making everything about me. I didn’t realize I was until I started this devotional.

In this last 7 days of this journey I’m asking Yahweh to show me where I need to change and how to better be like Him to the world.

Your turn! Comment your responses. Let’s chat.

No Complaining

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John 6_43-44 image

The no whining poster borrowed from Benjamin Gray here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/frotzed/84982525

We’re going to join Suzie for the next 24 hours for a no complaints challenge.

Throughout scripture, Yahweh continued to tell the people to stop complaining, grumbling and generally whining about things in their lives.

Today’s scripture explains it great. Yeshua [Jesus in English] said, all the complaining prevents you from going to Yahweh. Bickering, complaining, whining, grumbling, all put up roadblocks to Yahweh.

Let’s change the conversation.

As Suzie says: “Let’s break down the barrier of complaining so that we can greater live a life of thank you.”

You can go directly to Suzie’s blog or to this blog. It’s up to you. My challenge to you is to keep track of your conversations. Throughout the 24 hrs, come back here and comment your experience.

From Suzie:

Living a Life of Thank You Day #12

Join in the challenge. Don’t give up if you slip up.

Me: I’m right in here with all of you. My husband has mentioned to me before that he thinks I complain a lot. Let’s see how this goes. Join me, please.

Roller-coaster Faith? It Will Let You Down!

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Jeremiah 17_8 imageHave you ever ridden a roller-coaster? I have! It’s quite terrifying. Why?

Here’s why? For me: It’s painful on my joints; especially my neck. Also, as the ride climbs up and up, higher and higher, there’s a peak point at which point it has to come down. It’s in the coming down. It seems fun at first. Then, bam, you hit bottom. It may go on for a bit in the bottom.

Metaphor: Hills and valleys. Hills are when we’re high on the Lord and everything is all good with the world. Valleys are when we hit rock bottom and nothing is right with the world, and we’re mad at Yahweh, blaming Him for our circumstances. That’s roller-coaster faith.

Living A Life Of Thank You changes that. Instead of living a roller-coaster faith, you live spiritually thanking Yahweh through it all.

We anchor deep like the tree rooted deep and connected to its source of life. [River of Life].

Here’s something Suzie said:

A good day = God is good and he loves you.
A bad day = God is good and he loves you.

tree storm image

This image is borrowed from George Hodan – image linked to him.

From Suzie:

Jesus is reaching for you with the same loving instruction: Dig deeper into your faith, for it will hold you fast. Fix your heart on what is true over temporary. Come closer to me. I’m reaching for you. Feel those hands of yours reaching for him. Yes, that’s faith! Listen to those words coming from your mouth that say, “It’s hard, but I am not alone.” That’s courage! Seek him before anything else. That’s building your house on the Rock. Feel that inner peace that cannot be touched by your outward circumstances. It cannot be robbed. It cannot be taken from you.

We must weather the storms. For, it’s while in the storm we’re working through tough stuff. After the storm, with Yahweh as our anchor, we’ll still be standing firm. Trust Him!

I like this of what Suzie said:

There’s a Savior who loves you. He’s with you, even if you don’t feel it in the moment. Turn toward him. Soak in his presence today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. Invite him in to the bad days, and he promises to walk through them with you.

There will always be up days and down days. With Christ all things are possible. We don’t have to live the yo-yo roller-coaster lifestyle of faith. Trusting Him through the storms we’ll give us peace of mind and a secure heart.

From Suzie:

Day #11 of 21 Days to Living a Life of Thank You

All week long we are looking at barriers that keep us from a life of gratitude. Tomorrow we have a special challenge and I can’t wait. I’ll share instructions tomorrow. I hope you’ll come back!

  • Read Jeremiah 17:8. Draw a tree in your journal or the margin of your Bible next to that verse. Put your name next to that tree. Draw the source of your strength.

[Note: Suzie is having a drawing for a giveaway of her book that this study is loosely based on; over on her blog today. I have a digital copy already. If you want a hard copy with her autograph, follow her instructions to participate.]

My response: I’ll generate a drawing for Jer 17:8. I’ll share it on social media later. I challenge you all the same.

Blow Away The Roadblocks To Contentedness

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Philippians 4_12-13 image

How’s this 21-day adventure affecting you? Assuming you’re participating in it.

I see it changing me to some degree.

Are you content where you are? If not, why? What roadblocks are in the way?

I’m similar to Suzie in this way:

My problem used to be that I forgot to look for the good tucked in the hard places.

In life, I tend to get distracted and mired in petty stuff. It gets in the way of my spiritual growth. Sometimes, I need a reminder to blow away the roadblocks to my contentedness. So do you! Admit it.

[Disclaimer up front: I’m about to mention something about fasting. I, in no way, am suggesting you fast. That’s up to you to decide when and where, if ever.]

I have some friends who fasted from things in their life that were causing roadblocks to their spiritual growth. One major area is social media. If you spend any time at all there you would agree that there is a lot of negativity there. It has the power to affect us and drag us down. It permeates every part of our life. If nothing is done about it; boom we turn into a heap of mess. After fasting and removing the roadblocks they began to see a change in a positive way. They made some strong decisions to heavily moderate what caused the roadblocks to begin with. That made a massive different in their life. It can in everyone’s lives as well. We’re all not immune to strongholds.

This week’s focus is going to be about blowing away roadblocks that get in the way of living a life of thank you.

Along the way, we’ll blow away roadblocks that will allow contentedness.

There’s a secret. Do you know it?

It’s about tapping into the source.

The secret to contentment is not our situation; it is our Source. – Suzie Eller

I’m inviting you to ask The Holy Spirit to show you any roadblocks that are in the way. Please join me.

We can do it!

Suzie’s challenge today:

Day #11 of Living a Life of Thank You

This week we’ll step into a couple of fun challenges.

On Wednesday we’ll have a 24-hour no-complaint challenge, complete with fun pictures. On Thursday, we’ll share pictures and stories of what it means to live selfless in a selfie world.

  • Today, spend a few moments alone with the Lord.
    • Ask Him to reveal any barriers that might stand in the way of living a life of thank you. Whatever it might be, you are not alone as you take spiritual aim and begin to knock down that barrier.

Read Philippians 4:12-13.
What is one way to tap into your Source?

Comment your response. Let’s make a community with it and work through it together.

My responses:

My roadblocks: Resistance and stubbornness to change.

My one way to tap into my Source: Prayer! There’s no doubt about it!

Your Turn! GO!

Just Say – Thank You

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Psalm 147_7 image

Raise your hand if you struggle with someone giving you a compliment. I used to.

Someone would tell me they liked my outfit. I’d give some deflecting response like, “What, this old thing?”

Another would tell me they thought my hair was pretty. I’d also give them a deflecting remark like, “If if weren’t like Kramer’s hair and it was easier to care for It’d be better for me.”

FiveMinuteFriday_Friend image

Five Minute Friday Prompt Word

A friend said to me once, “You don’t take compliments very well!” I asked, “What do you mean?” They commenced into explaining what they meant. Basically, they told me it was ok to accept a compliment and just say thank you, because, my responses to them were “rude”. I was horrified that I would be rude to my friend. Much less rude to Yahweh as well.

Suzie said: “There’s a lot of reasons that can happen. We don’t believe it. We don’t want to be vain. Regardless of the reason, we need to listen to ourselves.”

It was after that I started to be aware of my words. I needed to change my conversation, with help from Yahweh.

You know how when you want to buy a certain kind of car and all of a sudden you start seeing that type of car everywhere? This conversation works the same way. You start noticing other women saying deflecting remarks to compliments given to them.

Suzie said: “Like a game of verbal ping pong we negate the good, bringing it down a notch. . . or two or three.”

For me, instead of deflecting now, I just say thank you. If it is about my outfit or shoes, I ask my friend if she would like to know where I got the item(s), if she didn’t ask.

It’s obvious that society dictates to young girls and young woman what beauty is. It affects us into old age.

The most effective way to handle all this is to be the example and elevate our words of self-worth around girls and women.

This past week we’ve been talking about changing our conversation to intentional gratitude. It’s been powerful.

If we want women to accept our compliments and believe us, we need to take a compliment ourselves.

Suzie said: “Changing the conversation matters, because it doesn’t just change the conversation, it has the power to change you!”

Suzie’s challenge questions:

Day #10 of Living a Life of Thank You

Q: Why might you struggle to take a compliment?

Q: Why might this be important spiritually?

  • If you are afraid it will lead to vanity or pride, reflect instead of deflecting.
    • Thank God for that kind friend who went out of her way to say something nice. Thank God for those comfortable shoes that also are fun to wear. Thank God that someone was blessed by what you did or said. This totally changes the compliment into a time of intentional gratitude!

My responses:

A1: In my past, I felt that I didn’t deserve it and was unworthy of it, also that I was being prideful and immodest.
A2: We’re made in Yahweh’s image. He likes to be praised. When we deflect a compliment that’s sincere it’s like telling Yahweh he’s not good or that he’s unworthy. How awful is that? It’s mortifying to think that I’d be doing that to Yahweh. So, instead of deflecting, it’s important now to be reflective. Meaning, I reflect (like a mirror) Yahweh and be grateful, intentionally, expressing Yahweh’s awesome character.

This is the end of week 2 of Living A Life Of Thank You!

Your turn! Comment your responses to this topic.

Language of Love

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So, how did it go over the past 24 hrs?

Yes, I kept my word. I’m calling you to the task.

What did you learn about yourself over the past 24 hrs? Answer in the comments. But, wait! There are other questions coming. Jot down your responses and at the end, comment your full response. ♥

Your discovery will help you live a better life of thank you.

We can look at the why when we are aware of what we’re saying.

I’m assuming, here, that you kept notes of what you said over the past 24 hrs.

So, take a look at your notes of those things said.

Are they the same words you heard growing up?

Suzie said:

You aren’t stuck with that second-hand love language. God is bigger than your past and he promises to help you.

These words may have come from weariness or downheartedness. It’s ok to be truthful about it, because, it enables you to understand and handle effectively with the heart of the matter.

Suzie asks:

If you are tired (and most of us are), what changes need to be made? I realize that caregivers and new mamas don’t get sleep. There are some seasons that are harder. So, is there anything that can be changed? If your schedule is overpacked, will you give yourself permission to pare it down as much as you can?

We each have a right to rest, spend time with family, and take a time out. We’re not obliged to be everything to everyone all the time. We need a balance. Do what works for you.

Your words may be a bad habit. It happens! Even to me. You don’t have to keep doing it. You can change it. You can create a new habit.

Being aware of why progresses to how.

Suzie asks:

How do you begin to learn a new love language, one that helps you and your loved ones live a life of thank you?

  • Pray
    • Invite Yahweh into your process. He delights in it. He loves you and wants to be part of it.
  • Listen to what they are saying
    • Listen with intention. To the end. Do not be thinking of a response. Wait till the end. It’s not just about listening to ourselves. It’s about listening to who’s right in front of us. It’s not easy. It’s a skill. It can be learned. Once it’s in place it becomes 2nd nature. We don’t even have to think about it. It just happens. But, it takes work and practice. It makes all the difference in the world. This creates a conversation. No, the other way is not. It changes into a conversation.
  • Use a lot less words
    • Fact: Raised voices turns people off. It shuts them down. A gentle voice suddenly gets people’s attention.
    • It takes practice and time to to get it. {This is an area I struggle with because when I get excited in any way my voice raises. I think this happens to most people. But, for me, it sounds like yelling, because I have a large voice anyway. It throws people sometimes. There is a time and place for it, though. I just have to remember it.} Being stuck in it can be exhausting. A new habit can be learned. We don’t have to stay stuck in it.
    • You can also hold a person responsible for their words. For example; if someone says they’re going to do something and they don’t do it, you can point it out and not let them get away with it, without being harsh. Just give a gentle reminder.

Suzie quote: Replace words with simple action. A touch. A gentle kiss. A pat on the arm. A stick of gum left on a pillow with a tender or silly note.

  • Stop doing it alone
    • There’s no shame in asking for help. That help can come from various sources.
  • Allow for do-overs
    • Sincere apologies can be the best language of love.
    • Perfection is not the goal.
    • Do-overs mean a fresh start.
    • No pulling out of wrongs from before because forgiveness is a clean break.

Suzie quote: New mercies. New beginnings. Just like we are given by God every day.

My love language will not sound like yours

You’ll grow an authentic language of love all your own, that makes sense to you and works for you. I’ve had some lively conversations with my husband. We do it with intention and listen to each other.

Honor your conversations and let them grow into something beautiful. Make it suitable for you.

It will be a process. Allow for growth. Add love. Be patient. There will be some give and take to make it work.

Below is a list of scripture to aid in your process. Read them.

Day 9 Living a life of thank you image

A journalling challenge from Suzie:

Day #9 of Living a Life of Thank You

Journal a prayer inviting God into your new love language. Show him the areas where you need help. Celebrate with him over those words that encouraged, or taught, or lifted up.

Q: Were you surprised at the results of your 24-hour challenge? (See yesterday’s blog post if you missed this.)

Read scripture. Each of these speaks of the power of our words.

Q: In what ways do you hope to enrich or change your love language?

My responses: A1: Yes, I was surprised. Instead of being argumentative and complaining about something, I put some thought into a conversation. I replied in a positive way. I made my husband slightly tear up and very happy. His countenance changed. His demeanor was happy and light. A2: I’ll work on being more positive and lower my voice. It’s a conscious effort. I’ll be more aware of my voice volume and keep it gentle.

Your turn!!

Healing Words – Love Language

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Proverbs 12_18 imageOh No He Didn’t! He did. He just cut me down. WoW! That was mean and hurtful; is the words I heard someone say.

We often do this with our words. I like what Suzie mentioned in her post:

What is on the inside of us spills out onto the people closest.

How do you express your love language? What would you hear if you listened to yourself?

Suzie said: “On Day #8 of Living a Life of Thank You, we are going to tune into our own words. If we want our conversations to reflect a thankful heart, we need to know what we are really saying. If that’s not what you want it to be, it’s worth the effort to listen to yourself, and that creates an opportunity for growth and transformation.”

So, for the next 24 hrs, listen to yourself. Write down what you hear yourself say to those around you. The good and bad. Allow for some heart work and growth. I’ll be doing this also. Today is part 1. We’re going to break this down so we can work it out.

We’re learning to change the conversation to be healed and to offer healing to others.

I’ll be looking for your responses in the following post(s).

 

 

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