- Identify 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!
Father’s Day this year will be different. For the last 26 years, we have spent Father’s Day with my dad. It was one of dad’s holidays when Belinda was growing up. This year, I’m at a loss. A void in my life which I feel on so many days. It is weird, dad and I could go for weeks without talking yet just knowing he was there was okay. In an instant, he was gone. Heaven gained an angel on April 15th and there is a hole in my heart I struggle to fill.
Life with my dad had its ups and downs. Growing up was filled with family vacations and holidays. MS has taken many of those memories away but we have told the stories many times but truly remembering is tough. There are flashes some days but they are few and far between.
Dad was a HAM radio operator and I always had the BEST reports in school because he would reach out to friends far and wide for their help. He bought me my first car for $100 and spray painted it blue. It was a stick shift, so he had to teach me – a true experience. The Chevy Nova lasted a long time and held many memories. My junior year, he and my mom, cooked breakfast for the ENTIRE Junior Class of Ocean Twp HS after the prom.
Dad’s battle with alcoholism and those demons brought some really rough times. When my parents divorced, I was angry and hurt. I wanted nothing to do with my dad. On Pop-pop’s death bed, he told me “it is time to forgive your dad”. I wasn’t ready but every once in awhile I would get a nudge from my Weston angels it was time. I never listened and it will be one of the regrets of my life.
My drug addiction brought us together and it was a gift. My dad came to visit which was the first time we had spoken in 16 YEARS! He found out where I was and he traveled to Pennsylvania to see me. It is when the healing began. No judgement. No questions. Just ready to fill the gaps of the missing years.
What a blessing it was to have him walk me down the aisle the day I got married. He was the proud father as he walked me down the aisle. A rough day for him due to health issues but one he would not have missed to anything.
I love this picture (even though we are missing some of the family bush). We have always said, it isn’t a family tree – it’s a bush and it was a blessing to have 4 generations in the same picture which is not always an easy task.
I miss you Dad!
So today, I will spend time with hubby and cherish the memories. I know my angels – dad and pop-pop – are enjoying the day together.
Take a moment today and thank the “fathers” in your life. Some may be your biological dads, your adopted dads, some may be your friends dad’s, some may be a man who helped to shape your life – whoever it is, THANK them. They have given you many blessings. Remember blessings are sometimes in the form trials and it is all of those things which make you the person you are today.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day.
June is CRAZY busy….. end of the school year, graduations, Father’s Day, weddings, Christenings, baby showers, and of course birthdays and anniversaries. Are you ready? Do you have all of those gifts together?
In direct sales, June is one of those dreaded “J” months. The story is “J” months are traditional bad for business. Think about it – January is the month after Christmas so everyone is broke. June is crazy busy who has time to shop. In July, everyone is on vacation so the last thing they are thinking of is shopping or partying. I am here to “debunk” the myth. Over the years, June and July have been some of my best months. Why? Because Thirty One offers amazing specials.
So let’s see what is happening in June…..
#1 – Did you know you could make some extra money with just a little bit of work AND using some amazing products? Maybe you could pay off some bills? Or pay for the kids summer activities? Maybe you just need some girl time? Maybe you are looking for a career change? Whatever your reason, I would love to help you reach your dream…For just $99, you get over $350 in FREE product. You get to pick your print option to fit your mood or color palette. PLUS with $600 in orders, every month for the first 4 months, you get to pick ONE of these AWESOME bundles. That is an additional $600 in FREE product during your first 4 months in our StartSwell program.
#2 – I get having a business is not on everyone’s to do list. so why not host a girls get together? Sip some wine (or your favorite beverage), catch up with friends, shop and have fun. When was the last time you hung out with the girls without the kids? You supply the friends and I will do all of the work.
For just $200 in orders, YOU can have a qualified party. Did you know only 6 orders of $35 will get you a $200 party? I offer home, catalog/online, fundraisers, drinks at a local restaurant and 31-minute Facebook LIVE parties. Which one will fit into YOUR busy schedule
With a $400 party (yes, just $400 NOT $600), you get this AMAZING hostess special for just $35. The cinch sac is the new thermal one, along with the All About the Benjamins Wallet and the Getaway Tote. The wallet along is $48 and you are going to get the whole set for $35.
#3 – I get it, you don’t need extra money and parties aren’t your thing. BUT you just LOVE to shop? So here is the AMAZING Thirty One Customer Special for June…
All Thermals are 50% with a $35 purchase. For each multiple of $35, you get to pick a thermal. Thermals are so much more than just for keeping things hot or cold.
So, to sum things up…there are THREE opportunities with Thirty One this summer:
Which opportunity is for you? Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Today is all about gift ideas for your dad (or your hubby or the soon to be dad or someone who has been like a dad).
We have Camo, Digital Camo, Blue Crosshatch and Charcoal Crosshatch. Check out the Cinch Sac, Picnic Thermal (will hold 2 6-packs of beer) the Around the Clock Thermal (lunch or a six pack of beer), the Deluxe Utility Tote, the Large Utility Tote (on special for $10 with a $35 purchase) and the Zip Top Organizing Utility Tote.
How about a bundle of products from Simple Man? Great for the graduate as well as the man in your life. This bundle includes: 1 Travel Bag, 1 Body Balm, 1 Body Wash, 1 Shampoo, 1 Conditioner, 1 Deodorant, 1 Bamboo Toothbrush and 1 Peppermint Toothpaste. You can also do a “auto ship” for your collage bound student so they never run out. I have used these products too and LOVE them. So, they aren’t just for the man in your life -you can enjoy them too.
The best gifts are those which are home-made….In going through my dad’s things, we found two things in the fire proof box along with his important papers. They were a letter I wrote him one Father’s Day when we didn’t have any money to buy gifts AND a poem Belinda had written the same year. I will admit, I was surprised and really didn’t remember it but it showed just how special it was to him.
On a budget, check out some of these cool gifts:
Don’t spend much time with your dad – carve out some time jut for him. For many years, Father’s Day was just one of the two holidays we spent with my dad. There really weren’t presents because we didn’t have the money but the gift of time (no electronics) was the best gift of all.
Make your dad’s favorite meal or something special just for him. Write a letter or a poem or record a song – share your heart with him, Make him a picture, a mug, a card or anything to show how much you care.
No matter what it is you give – give from your heart. What are you giving to your dad or the special man in your life this year? Share your gift ideas with us – we can always use some more.
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!