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Archive for December, 2010

                                                                                                                                                        

                                                                                                        

          

        

These pictures show the external signs of Christmas at our house….but I really can’t take pictures of our hearts that are so full of thankfulness and joy right now. If I could, I would. But you will just have to imagine what that looks like. Jim and I, after 42 years of marriage, are amazed at how God has worked in our lives together as a couple and as a working team (along with our daughter Jennifer). God has blessed us time and time again, and really, this is what this blog is all about…….my journey and what God has shown me, and has taught me, and is teaching me even now, about how His faithfulness impacts our lives if only we would just seek Him.  Just seek Him.

Psalm 9:10
Those who know Your Name will trust in You, for You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

 

Merry Christmas faithful readers!                                                                                                                                                            With love, Dorothy

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My Marks of Maturity

The first time I read this devotional written by Chuck Swindoll (my post dated December 13th) I really thought that this was a great list….to check to see if I am where I should be….as a 64 yr old woman and as a mature Christian. But I reread it this morning and realized with great disdain that I may…..just may have maybe…..one……just one item that I could say I’ve reached…..and maybe not even one. Wow….that hit me right at my heart. I think what Swindoll is saying that these 6 points should be something we strive for. He asks this question at the end, “Will you work on improving them before the next scoring period?” And my answer is a solid yes…….but definitely with God’s amazing help.

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Marks of Maturity

by Charles R. Swindoll

Ephesians 4:14-15

To be mature is to be fully developed, complete, and “grown up.” Becoming mature is a process of consistently moving toward emotional and spiritual adulthood. In that process we leave childish and adolescent habits and adopt a lifestyle where we are fully responsible for our own decisions, motives, actions, and consequences.

I heard someone say recently that maturity is developing and discerning competence as to how to live appropriately and to change rightly. In a word, it is stability.

We never “arrive.” We are always in the process of moving toward that objective. I have also observed that when maturity is taking place, balance replaces extremes and a seasoned confidence replaces uneasy feelings of insecurity. Good choices replace wrong ones.

Do you have these marks of maturity:

  • Concern for others that outweighs personal concerns
  • Detection of the presence of evil before it’s obvious
  • Self discipline
  • Compassion and involvement
  • Tempered emotions
  • Consistently growing in God’s Word

How do your “marks” stand up? Will you work on improving them before the next scoring period?

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Those of you that are fans of Dr. Phil are familiar with a question that keeps popping up on his shows. He asks this question to his guests that have had the same problem, after the same problem, time and time again. And it’s a legitimate question, to be sure. How’s that working for you?

The subject of this particular post tugged at my heart after seeing one of my loved ones, make the same mistake over, and over, and over, and over. I wanted to ask them this question…..one more time. Because I have asked them this question….over and over and over and over again. But why repeat it?

We’ve all made that wonderful recipe that someone gave us, or one that we’ve seen in a magazine…but after making it, something just was not right. It didn’t taste like we thought it would. So the next time, did you make it the same way? Of course not…you changed the amount of sugar and put more cinnamon in it.

I’ve rearranged and changed furniture and many times realized it wasn’t right…mmmmm…need to put that chair over on that wall. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Fits better in the room. I’m not tripping over Clover’s dog bed every time I go to sit in that chair.

Hair cuts….oh I am an expert on getting bad ones. Do I go back to the same stylist? No, I keep trying to find that perfect person that will know exactly the kind of hair cut I want. I change from stylist to stylist….knowing that someday I will find her (or him)……I know I will.

There’s a word I’ve been using numerous times in the above examples…..and that word is “change”. To be successful, change sometimes is necessary. It’s not easy because we are creatures of habit. Some of these habits are common  ones…biting our nails…things like that. But some habits are life altering habits. Making the same mistake over and over with, for example relationships and jobs can be caused by succumbing to our bad habits. We get in ruts and dig ourselves further and further, too afraid to realize that things are just not working…but it’s comfortable being in our rut. Too comfortable. Too afraid. So it goes…..

If your way isn’t working in disciplining your children. Change the way you do it. Get advice.  If your way isn’t working in relationships…change things. Get counseling.

The big problem here is that we all like to be in control. We just can’t make ourselves realize that maybe, just maybe another way would be better. We’d rather be in complete control and be in our nice comfortable rut rather than toss out our ways and try another’s way. To be specific, God’s ways.

 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:6

I certainly don’t want to be flip and make it seem so easy to change. It isn’t easy. But that’s how God can really get us on the right track. Looking to and seeking Him. Humbling ourselves to Him, knowing we’ve made some lousy choices and we do want to change.  “God, can you please help me make these necessary changes?”

If you resist and still want to be in control and still continue to make chaos of your life, there is still one question that you have to answer (and be honest with yourself about your answer).

How’s that working for you?

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