- Identify the what happened to cause the change
- Why did it happen
- How can I use this for my personal growth
- What changes can I make to improve in the future
- Where can I find help or who can help
I would like to take a moment and wish a Happy Father’s Day to dads. Today will be bitter sweet as I remember my dad and grandfather treasuring the moments with my hubby.
Thank you Gwen Smith for today’s message…..
Our hotel room had a small balcony that overlooked the swimming pool. Early one lazy vacation morning, I grabbed my journal, Bible, and a fresh cup of coffee then headed to the balcony for some quiet time.
As I settled in, movement by the pool caught my eye. I watched as a maintenance man approached a palm tree and briskly pulled a brown, life-less branch from underneath the green leaves. Oddly, before he pulled the dead branch off, I hadn’t even noticed it was there.
After he pulled it off, however, the palm tree looked fresh and vibrant.
The pruning made such a difference!
Jesus spoke to His disciples and said,
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (John 15:1-8, NIV)
Whom we spend time with really matters.
And what we say and do and how we say and do it also really matters.
Stay with me here! Don’t let the familiarity of this Scripture fade the impact it has on you.
I understand to my core how horrible it feels when my walk and my talk do not line up. Withered branches in my heart constantly need to pulled off and thrown away. You too?
In order to experience the blessings and power of God’s Spirit in our lives we must root our faith deep in the soil of God’s Word and then allow His truth to produce fruits that are ripe with evidence of His love. These fruits are clearly seen (or not) at the intersection of our faith and our actions. I’ve found that when I have those I-just-want-to-scream-because-everyone-in-the-world-is-on-my-last-nerve days God meets me with His grace when I whisper His name.
God will deepen the roots and increase the fruits of your faith as you spend time talking to Him early in the morning over a hot mug of coffee. When you pray and worship on the way to work or on your powerwalk. When you feel a prick of conviction in your heart about that behavior – or about that response – that tone – that act of disobedience. When you call out to Him for patience and strength as your teenager slams his door in rebellion – or when your adult daughter “forgets the morals she was raised with” and moves in with her boyfriend – or when frustrations mount up at work.
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self control. To bring glory to God, this fruit of His Spirit must be seen in our lives.
Unfortunately, we have a keen ability to rationalize our less-than-fruitful behaviors.
But he… But she… But they… I just can’t…
Fortunately, God doesn’t expect us to behave like this without Him. In fact, we simply can’t. Apart from Christ, we can do nothing. Remember? (v5) But when we remain in Him – when we seek Him, obey Him, savor His presence, live for His glory, and prioritize Him above all else – we can and will make a big impact for God and experience the joy and peace we all long for.
The maintenance man at the resort didn’t pull the branch off to hurt the palm tree.
He pruned it to increase its beauty, health, and vibrancy. God does the same for us. He prunes His children to increase our beauty, health and vibrancy for our good and for His glory – to make us more useful to Him and more fruitful.
Pause to ponder this question: Are there any dead branches hanging on your tree?
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Sunday a day to relax, reflect and recharge. This morning I will be enjoying Praise and Worship at National Conference. It is the last day and then we will be headed home. I amazing few days full of blessings where I got to fill my cup. How appropriate today’s message is on “joy”. Unfortunately, I found this and am not sure who to give thanks to but it was not written by me.
One of the overriding evidences someone has a genuine relationship with our living Savior is their consistent attitude of joy and outlook on life. A follower of Jesus should not be a person who always looks at life as if the glass is half empty. Instead, we should be the most positive people on earth. We should see opportunity in the midst of challenges.
The light resides in you should be like the beam of a lighthouse to a ship seeking direction. Our lives should have the fragrance of Christ. People should be attracted to our lives just as the bee is attracted to the nectar in the colorful flower.
The apostle Paul understood this when he said, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life” (2 Cor 2:14-16).
I must admit I’ve been with some believers whose attitude toward life is more like a porcupine. It’s painful to get too close to them because of their negative and poisonous view of life that criticizes the world around them.
No matter what circumstance you may find yourself in, the joy of the Lord must be your strength. Paul learned this truth even in the midst of his adversities. “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil 4:12-13).
How would others describe your joy quotient? On a scale of 1 to 10, where would they rank you? Today, make a commitment to greet every circumstance knowing the joy of the Lord is your strength.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Monday morning – the moment many dread as they head to their job wishing for a longer weekend. I am blessed to be able to work from home and make my own hours. I have been working with a coach and an amazing group of women doing “31days & 31 ways to Jumpstart Your Abundance”. My second go around and new things are coming to light.
We have been talking a lot about core values and our core desires. Maybe it is the MS and memory issues or maybe it is the inner gremlins who take joy in squashing my hopes and dreams but this is a struggle for me. Whatever the reason, I’m sure I’m not alone.
Let’s take a minute to focus on our life – our definition of success, and how we can find purpose, fulfilment, and joy by letting the things which truly matter guide us. I know a heavy topic for a Monday morning but give it a try!
How many of you struggle with the noise, and “norms” of society which make it difficult to stay connected to your core desires.
I have been trying to focus on my core desires in my work and my life. These are the things which help me to focus on how I will prioritize and spend my days, how I define success, and how I will show up in my life. Here is what I came up with:
I never thought much about being financially independent. It was always about paying the bills and having “things”. As I have gotten older, health challenges have come to light, I want to feel stable, secure, self-sufficient, and be independent financially. It goes beyond wanting a roof over my head (hubby takes care of all the household stuff) and food on the table. I want to feel happy and at peace by making mindful, intentional, and responsible decisions when it comes to finances, and by showing up wholeheartedly for my business too. It means paying off credit card debt. This is such a huge change for me from just “winging it”.
Emotional & physical well-being
Living with a chronic health condition has taught me to pay more attention to my health and well-being. I can’t change the struggles my health issues sometimes cause, but I can control how I get through them. Feeling emotionally and physically healthy is something I have been prioritizing in my life this year. I try to honor the needs of my health in my business, and how I support my health in the lifestyle choices too.
Living & telling my truth
I struggle so much with accepting who I am, yet, I am willing to share my strength, hopes and experiences with everyone. I continue to work on accepting who I am – the good, the bad and the ugly. I am learning to embrace my strengths and weaknesses. In my business, I want to inspire others never letting pride or fear hold me back from showing up, supporting and encouraging others.
I crave meaningful and joyful work. I long to make a difference and am always searching for my true purpose. It isn’t about the money I make, it is about what the money can do to make a difference. I love when customers feel comfortable enough to share their story, their fears, their joys, and their desires with me. My heart swells with joy, when I see someone smile who is struggling. I want to honor this desire by never losing sight of what matters most to me in my work, and never letting money be bigger than the “why” behind what I do.
To be of service
Whether it’s in my business, in my relationship, friendships, and with my family, or how I contribute to the world, I always want to be the positive in the lives of those around me. Yes, I want to live a joyful and fulfilling life, BUT I don’t want to always be looking at my own needs.
I long to feel connected to what matters most to me, to the people in my life who I love and adore, to my business and the work I do. I try to stay aligned with my core values, desires, and intentions, by carving out time for my favorite people, by interacting in and engaging with the world around me, and by getting outside of my comfort zone. YIKES! A tough one but so important in staying connected with the world to find ways I can play a small but positive part in it.
What are you core desires in your work and your life? What are they and are you honoring them in your work and daily life? Share with us….
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!