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I like to do Black Friday. Getting up at four in the morning to go out early before the crowds really get going has always been fun. The people who are out and about are usually nice and friendly. Too bad this year was spoiled by some of the stores opening at midnight. I’m sure you’ve heard the stories, shootings, fights over gaming systems, and even one woman who pepper sprayed a crowd so she could get what she wanted. The worst part, her children were apparently with her at the time.
I can’t imagine wanting something so bad I’d hurt others physically to get it. It’s just a material possession. I don’t understand shooting someone over an Xbox. I won’t sleep in a tent for a week to get a deal on a big screen television. Why do I get the feeling some of those people standing in line for these items are also standing in line for unemployment or behind on their child support?
What has happened to our priorities? We no longer do things with the mind frame that we’re celebrating Jesus’ birth. Instead, it’s about getting the biggest and the best for the least amount, no matter who it affects. When did this become a nation of “It’s all about me?” We need to become one where it’s “all about Him.”
Luke 6:45 reads, A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Sometimes our actions speak louder than words. How many of those people fighting over stuff were also standing in church on Sunday?
Let’s make a pact that we will keep Jesus in the forefront of our minds this holiday season. Before we purchase anything, we will pray about whether it is something that’s really needed. Before we go to someone’s house to celebrate, we will pray that our actions do not become an embarrassment to Him. And before we sit down to eat in our warm homes, we will pray for the people living in cars that might not have enough food.
Ask God to show us where our priorities are, and then to put our sights on Him.
A friend of mine has arrived in Cameroon on a mission trip for six months. I can’t imagine stepping out like that. And when I was her age, my courage came from a bottle, not from God.
When I see someone like Geri go to Africa based on God’s will, I feel inferior. Am I not a good Christian if I say “I could never do that”? When someone asks if I’d be able to go that far for God, it’s easy to sit back in my recliner and say “Sure I would.” After all, that’s the Christian response. It might be a whole different decision if I were actually asked to do it.
Verse Proverbs 3:5-6 reads, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Putting your faith and trust in God is easy when everything is going well. It’s easy when God has given you a nice house and a good job. But what if He were to ask you to quit your job, get rid of your home, and move to Africa for a year? How about two years?
I’d like to think I’d say, “Sure. Light my way.” But I know it would mean leaving both my daughters and going to someplace I’m unfamiliar with. Then of course, there’s the luxury of possibly not having indoor plumbing. To me camping is a nightmare. This would probably be worse.
Cameroon is lucky to get Geri. I know she’ll be a blessing to the children she’ll be teaching. I just wish at times I had that type of faith. I know that putting your faith in God is something of great strength. Sometimes it’s not easy, but with God you can do anything.
See you in six months Geri.
I have a friend whose mother is very sick. She’s been fighting cancer for a while now. Just when you think she’s doing better, something happens to weaken her. All the stress of caring for a sick wife is also wearing on the husband. He’s hurt his back lifting her from the floor when she’s so weak she can’t stand. He hates to ask for help because he should be strong enough to take care of his own wife. This puts a lot of stress on my friend who is seeing both her parents fall ill from this one disease.
Have you ever been so tired you just want to give up or run away from the problem? I’m sure my friend has those days. How nice it would be to take a weekend cruise and not worry about anything for just three days. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option right now.
When life is tough, and it will be, make sure you turn to God. He can not only give you the rest, but the peace you are searching for. Matthew 11:28 reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
There are times when it’s hard to go on. You just want to walk away from it all. And you wonder why God is putting your through this. Take just a moment to look up. Suck in a deep breath and remember that God is there with you. Give yourself a God hug and cry on his shoulder. He’ll listen.
No matter what you’re going through, look to God to relieve the pain and the stress. His love is everlasting and can get you through any tough situation. Just hold on to him, and don’t worry, he’ll never let you go.
Saturday I overdid it exercising. More particularly I overdid the squat thrusts. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an exercise where you jump down, throw your legs out behind you, stay in plank position for a couple of seconds, then bring your legs back up and jump up. They’re a killer, but they’re also a total body workout. The reason I’m doing this is because of a real cute purple sweater at Dress Barn.
Every woman reading this just went, “Oh, I see.” Every man said, “What’s a squat thrust have to do with a sweater?” This is just one of the ways men and women are different. A woman understands killing herself with exercise to not have a little belly roll show in a sweater. A man would never buy a shirt they had to exercise to get in to.
I might have done better if I’d actually read my Bible instead. According to 1 Timothy 4:8, For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
I’m not saying exercise is bad. It’s just important to know why you’re doing it. A sweater is not a good reason. To be healthy is. God’s grace gets you into Heaven, not a six-pack of abs. Does this mean I’ve quit the squat thrusts? I’m this close, I can’t give up now. Besides, the purple sweater comes with a belt. And all you women know what that means.