Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Spiritual GPS


Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message:

Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

GPS has changed our lives. So much so that many people today cannot even read a map. We don’t have a clue how to figure out North, South, East and West. We don’t have to.

We have GPS. Global Positioning Satellite systems.

We have it in our phones.

We have it in our watches.

We have it in our cars.

GPS has changed our lives. It helps us know where we are going and how to get there.

To pursue God’s calling in my life, I must discover my spiritual GPS.

The G in spiritual GPS is gifts. Finding God’s calling for your life begins with gifts. The spiritual gifts God has given you. The supernatural, better than your average bear abilities He has put within you. When God calls you to do something, He gives you the gifts that will enable you to do it. God’s plan never lacks God’s resources.

Check out the first part of Ephesians 2:10: “For we are His workmanship (His own master work, a work of art)” (Ephesians 2:10a, AMP).

You sometimes have to give some thought and effort to discovering your spiritual gifts.

Here are three of mine:

  • Teaching is one of my spiritual gifts. I have always had the ability to take complex truths and make them simple. I thought and often still do think that everyone can do that. Not true. I call it “putting the cookies on the bottom shelf.”
  • Encouraging is one of my gifts. I often spell “encourage” as “in courage” – because when you encourage someone, you pour courage into them.
  • Laughter is one of my gifts. I can make people laugh. Sometimes they laugh with me. Sometimes they laugh at me. But they laugh. And the Bible tells us that laughter is good medicine.

God placed those gifts in my life when He created me in my mother’s womb. The more I use them, the more they grow.

We all have gifts that God has given us. We need to know what they are. Because they are hints at God’s plan and design and calling for our lives.

So, the “G” in spiritual GPS is gifts.

The P in spiritual GPS is passion.

Ever notice how different people are passionate about different things?

We had a tornado this week in the area just West of Kansas City. Some of our church members are so passionate about helping people, they simply had to go do something. My son and daughter-in-law took a day off of work to go help their neighbors. Some of those neighbors lived less than a quarter mile away from them – and lost everything. There were so many people showing up to help that the police had to turn some people away because of the unusually heavy traffic on the rural Kansas road that runs through the area.

Back to the next part of Ephesians 2:10. “For we are created in Christ Jesus (reborn from above – spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used).”

Reborn …

Transformed …

Renewed …

Ready to be used …

Sounds like passion to me!

I have been speaking for women’s conferences and writing books and devotions for women for 30 years. I love it. Why? It lets me do what God created me to do. It fits my gifts – encouragement, leadership and teaching. It fits my passion – helping people become everything God created them to be.

So, the G in GPS stands for Gifts.

And the P in GPS stands for Passion.

The S in GPS stands for Story.

God – who designed me with a purpose in mind – is writing my story. He has been writing my story all of my life. The Bible tells us that He knew who we would be before He even created the world. The Bible tells us that He planned our story while we were still in the womb. The plan came first!

He is writing His story in and through you and me. And that story – our experiences, good and bad – helps us find our calling.

Back one more time to Ephesians 2:10 for the last part of that verse: “For we are created … for good works, which God prepared (for us) beforehand so that we would walk in them (living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us).

Did you catch what that verse says? God created you for doing good. God has prepared and gifted you to do good. God has given you passion for doing good. He is writing a good story in and through us!

Throughout the course of your life, God has been at work in you. Writing His story. Giving you the desire and the ability to do what He has created you to do. Why have these gifts and passions always been present in your life? Because they are part of your story.

God will help you discover your spiritual GPS – your calling.

You will find it in your gifts.

You will find it in your passion.

You will find it in your story.

Have a blessed day!

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

You Can’t Out Give God!

 

Gives Program

Giving Tuesday

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Today, we celebrate #GivingTuesday.  Today marks the fifth year of a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.

#GivingTuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  I know you are thinking “we give all year long”, right?  The truth is many times we plan to give but the moment passes us by – lack of funds, lack of time or just “a senior moment”.

#GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.  As individuals, we have causes near and dear to our hearts.  Those who may have helped us personally over the years or maybe made a difference in the life of a family member.  Maybe it is just because you can relate to an organization’s mission.

One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community is through #GivingTuesday……

Here are a few of my favorite causes …

  • Redeem-Her was born in 2005 to create second chances for those who need it most. Their mission is to offer help and hope to women reentering the community from rehabilitation facilities, jails and prisons.  They have helped more than 150 women and your support will help them to make a difference in the lives of women in need of a second chance. No donation is too large or small.  If you would like to help us them with their vision of providing second chances for more women, donations can be made at: http://www.redeem-her.org/donate
  • South Jersey AIDS Alliance is a caring, compassionate Organization dedicated to the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Located in Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and Camden Counties , their vision is to be recognized as a dynamic organization able to efficiently and effectively provide the diverse and integrated program delivery needed to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing nature of the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • Bethel AME Church which also houses Bethel Development Corporation and Bethel Learning Center is the oldest church in the City of Millville.  It houses the longest running soup kitchen in Cumberland County providing hot home-cooked meals four days per week.  The Learning Center is open to children 6 weeks to 5 years of age as well as offering Before and After Care programs.    All programs at Bethel are focused on giving a hand up to those who are struggling – the addicted, the chronically unemployed and the homeless.

#GiveBackWithMe is my way of bringing a smile to someone who is struggling.  Every month, I select one individual who will receive a gift from me along with some encouraging words to let them know they are special and worthy.  To remind them, no matter what the struggle there is someone who cares for them.  Click HERE and help me to make a difference in the life of someone.  Nominations are taken 365 days a year…. one selected each month.

This November 29th, join the movement and give – whether it’s some of your time, a donation, gift or the power of your voice in your local community.   #RandomActofKindness will #makeadifference in the lives of others.  It’s a simple idea. Whether you come together with your family, your community, your company or your organization, find a way to give back and then share your idea.

Share with us YOUR favorite cause with a link on how others can donate to them…Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Learning to Give Joy Away

Thank you Mary Southerland for today’s message:

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I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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 – Philippians 4:12, NIV

I once heard a story that offers a great prescription for joy. A young believer came to a man who had followed Christ for many years with the complaint that he had lost his joy. The older and wiser Christian responded, “Go do something for someone else. Repeat that act of kindness nine times. Then you will find joy.”

When we develop the habit of looking for a need and then meeting that need, we will experience joy as never before. Many times, instead of looking for a need, we look the other way.

One of the most amazing paradoxes in the Christian life is that the more we give, the more we receive. We simply cannot out-give God!

In Luke 6:38 we find an amazing promise, “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving – large or small – it will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

If you want joy, learn to invest your life in others. Be on the lookout for a need and meet it. God created us to share each other’s load. A shared load is a lighter load.
F.B. Meyer once noted: “I used to think God’s gifts were on shelves – one above another so that the taller we grow, the easier we can reach them. Now I find that God’s gifts are on shelves, one beneath another, and the lower we stoop, the more we get.”

The apostle Paul says it this way in 2 Corinthians 9:10, “For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.”

Give your time.
Give encouragement.
Give a praying heart.
Give a listening ear.
Give yourself.
Give materially.
The more you give, the more joy you will experience. The more joy you have, the more you will want to give. God always rewards “joy-givers.”

Philippians 4:17-18 “Really, it is not that I want to receive gifts from you. But I want you to have the good that comes from giving. Your gift is like a sweet-smelling sacrifice offered to God. God accepts that sacrifice, and it pleases Him.”

The idea of a sweet-smelling sacrifice is taken from the sweet-smelling incense that was burned along with the Jewish sacrifices. When we meet a need in the life of someone, it is a pleasing aroma to God and a sacrifice of praise to Him. In fact, when we meet someone’s need, we are actually giving through that need to God Himself. In other words, that met need becomes a deposit slip in our kingdom account. The perspective and heart behind the giving really matters. Joy-givers please God.

Three men were hired to work on a large building project. One was asked, “What are you doing?” He responded, “I’m mixing mortar. The second man said, “I’m helping put up this great stone wall.” When the third man was asked what he was doing, he replied, “I’m building a cathedral to the glory of God.” Perspective is a powerful thing.

In Philippians 4:19, Paul goes on to say that when we meet the needs of others, God will meet our needs. “My God will use His wonderful riches in Christ Jesus to give you everything you need.”

When we give out of our limited resources, God gives out of His unlimited resources. What a solid foundation for a life of joy!

God stands today, arms open wide, ready to pour out His unspeakable gift of joy into our lives so we can have joy … and so we can share that joy with others. Our gift back to Him is to be a joy-giver.

 

MS will Not Define Me

Will You be a Sponsor?

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I signed up for Walk MS because I have been diagnosed with MS.  You can get the “full” story by clicking HERE!

Here is the Reader’s Digest version.  “Squirrel Moment” (or random memory)…My grandfather used to get the Reader’s Digest delivered to the house.  I can remember him sitting in HIS chair with his head buried in the book.  Then in college, my roommate’s mom worked for Reader’s Digest in Mt. Kisco, NY.  Useless tidbit for some BUT it is a memory and I treasure them.

So, in December 2015 just before Christmas we received the diagnosis. It has been 3+ years of illnesses and health challenges.  I don’t fit the profile of an MS patient because I am 58 years old.  The truth is that the health challenges that I have faced for years, now come together as part of the MS.  It took one caring doctor to listen before things began to happen.  On the outside, I look the same BUT on the inside MS has attacked my memory giving me good days and bad days.

This is a charity walk that is changing the lives of people with MS and helping fuel progress toward a world free of MS. I’d love your generous support as I prepare for my walk.

2015walk-logo I hope that others will join me on the Rays of Hope Team.  Walk to make a difference in the lives of others.  The Walk is on April 16th with registration at 9AM in Seaside Park, NJ.  If you want to DONATE or JOIN our team. Click the links.

We have a Facebook Page too.  I will be doing fundraisers with some of my favorite Direct Sellers over the next month, with a portion of those sales being donated to our Walk fund.  First up is Jamberry Raising Awareness Event. Click HERE.

During the month of March, I will donate 10% of ALL my Thirty One retail/party sales to the Walk, too.  Everyone will be entered into a drawing for a special “thank you” gift from me.

HOPEHelping Other People Everyday is my goal.  My vision is for a world where “random acts of kindness” are a normal part of our day.

Won’t you help to make a difference?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!