What is your favorite Christmas present?
Our Pastor asked us yesterday what was our favorite Christmas present of all time? I sat and thought on it as he told a wonderful story from his childhood. He wanted a special match box car in the ’70s complete with sound.
Growing up with three older brothers most of my “Favorite Gifts” did not last long.
I received a pink and blue musical carousel that I absolutely loved the Christmas I turned four. You turned the knob on top and the horses began swirling in circles to a tinkling tune. It was so precious and gave me great joy, until that following Spring.
I took it outside with me and one of my brothers (not mentioning any names), submerged it in a bucket filled with water. Needless to say the horses never moved in circles and the music never played again. I remember crying a long time over that one.
A few years later, I asked for yet another wind up toy for Christmas.
A ‘Spudsie’ hot potato. You know the game where you wind him up and everyone throws him back and forth, (because he’s a HOT potato), until his alarm goes off and then that person is out of the game?
Ultra excited when I opened him on Christmas day. I couldn’t wait to wind him up and try him out. I coaxed my brothers to play ‘Spudsie’ with me but within five minutes one of them (again not mentioning any names), threw ‘Spudsie’ against the wall instead of to one of us. ‘Spudsie’ died quickly and lay in pieces on the floor. Hot tears streamed out of my eyes for my long awaited Hot Potato.
Both times there was no reprimand for the guilty brother or replacing of the broken toy by my parents. I learned the hard life lesson of loss and disappointment early.
But I survived and forgave my dear brother years ago. However, knowing of the story, my husband Dwight bought me a new “Spudsie” a few years ago. It made me laugh and cry and in a silly way provided some healing for the little Karan inside me.
“You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of Your presence and the pleasures of living with You forever.” Psalm 16:11 New living Translation
So now my greatest Christmas present that never breaks or disappoints is what I ask for all of my friends and family to have and experience every day of this next New Year and beyond. . . The gift of the PRESENCE of God through His Holy Spirit on a daily basis! HE really is our All in All. He’s so much better than any other gift or even all the gifts of the world combined!
Praying for each of you to experience Him more and more!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
“Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” Hebrews 13:5 New Living Translation
Shine On. . .
I love driving around to look at lights this time of year. Some people go all out to decorate and illuminate their homes. I have more lights on the inside than on the outside of our cozy town home. How about you, do you use lights in your Christmas decorating?
“Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, ‘I AM the Light of the world. If you follow Me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you have the Light that leads to Life.’ ” John 8:12 New Living Translation
Jesus said these words right after the whole incident with the adulteress woman. Another simple story you can read in John 8:1-11. His message to us has not changed but remains timeless. We need His Light above all others to find our way. Any other light is false and we will end up in trouble if we follow it just like the adulteress woman. Whether its our finances, our tongues, our bodies, our relationships etc., each of us can find ourselves in trouble when we stray from His life giving Light.
Perhaps like the adulteress woman, you didn’t know about His light. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your heart so you can know Him and He can know you. His Light and Life will transform your existence. Its WHY He came. He love you and wants a life brimming of joy and purpose for you.
When His light lives in us we can let it shine through us to others. No we are not perfect but His love and grace are available if we step back into the Light after we’ve sinned. Grace abounds in the Light!
May you receive His grace today in whatever way you need it!
Merry Christmas and God Bless us, every one!
Shine on. . .
“In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:16 New Living Translation
“Then the KING will say to those on HIS right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you VISITED me.’ ” Matthew 25:34-36 New living Translation
One of the ultimate things to do at Christmas is visiting. Not just on Christmas day but during the entire holiday season. I confess it is one of my passions all year but at Christmastime the need is especially felt by those who may not have family close by or who are sick or lonely or behind bars. The suicide rate skyrockets during the holiday season. People feel cut off and insignificant.
Years ago, I had the privilege to visit prisons at Christmastime. The joy on the inmates’ faces to be remembered at this special time of year was unmistakable. Some prisoners had gone years without anyone visiting. I remember one inmate whom a visitor bought a sandwich for his lunch. He wanted it heated, but because he was in prison so long, he didn’t know how to use a microwave oven. He never had the opportunity to use one. Think about that for a moment. . .
It’s so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of Christmas preparation and detail. I struggle with it too but Christmas comes down to people. Jesus came as a baby so long ago to save the people whom His Father loved. God the Father and His Son, Jesus, loved each of us enough to spend time with us. Jesus in physical form and the Father through His precious Holy Spirit who we have today in our hearts if we’ve accepted Him.
Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. Christ in us, the hope of Glory! (Colossians 1:27) So what better way than to let Him shine out of our hearts to those around us. We love others because He has enough love for us and them. So we share our love with them because of Him. When we experience His great love we should desire to share this magnificence with all we meet and certainly, at least those closest to us.
So today I want to encourage you if you haven’t yet planned a visit as part of your holiday agenda, it’s not too late. People need the love we have to give. Don’t be afraid to share it. Whether its an inmate, the elderly, a difficult relative, an old friend or a stranger— Jesus says we should reach out and share His love with them. It will mean more than you can fathom.
“And the KING will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these My brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!’ ” Matthew 25:41 New Living Translation
Shine On. . .
“. . . singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19b American Standard Version
One of my favorite things to do at Christmas is Christmas caroling. So far this year I had two wonderful and heart warming opportunities. The first took place in a cozy home with my small group of Christian writers. We gathered around a piano and each chose a carol to sing accompanied by a pianist and a violinist. What melodic tones and uplifted voices filled the air in that lovely living room. It was sorta like a Hall Mark moment, at least for me.
The next chance I got to make my own joyful noise in celebration of our Savior’s birth came on a frigid Sunday evening. A group of 45 or so from St. Paul’s E.C. church bundled up to walk the streets of Reamstown, Pennsylvania. It’s a rather tiny town but extra special to me because I grew up there.
As a child in the ’60s and’ 70s, this church congregation annually walked and sang carols at christmastime in Reamstown. I have many happy memories of residents opening their doors and warming us with steaming coffee or hot chocolate, cookies and candy before sending us on our way to sing at the next home. I looked forward to it every year.
The practice had sadly subsided some time ago but this year it was revived. 2018 marks the first year I returned to St. Paul’s after a 40 year absence and I was thrilled to find out that caroling in Reamstown had returned to the Advent agenda!
A lot of the people in the town were preoccupied that night. They didn’t seem interested in live caroling from strangers. Most were snuggled up on their sofas with the Eagles/Cowboys football game on tv while we huddled outside in the cold to sing. We could see them from the street. Few came to their doors to hear our caroling. It was a bit sad. Here and there children peeked out through the windows to watch and listen to something sacred.
Our hearts were not dampened as we sang inspite of the reception we received. It was not unlike the night Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. Doors remained closed to them as well. People were preoccupied.
How about you? Is your heart rejoicing because Jesus came to save us and give us REAL LIFE in this world and the one to come? Or are you too preoccupied with the busyness of life and the trappings of the holiday season?
If you have a favorite Christmas Carol, take some time to sing it to Jesus in your quiet time these days leading up to Christmas. Most carols are brimming with doctrinal truth. Sing in the car, in the shower, while you do chores, just find some time to remember Him. HE delights in hearing the voice HE gave you to sing HIS praise!
Shine on. . .
“I have always thought of Christmastime as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely.”
From the book, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
This year while so many are watching the 25 Days of Hallmark Christmas movies, (I have no cable so no Hallmark for me), I am reading a Christmas book borrowed from a friend. She wanted to share a lovely Christmas story with me. Its a gift that she gave which is delighting my soul in the good things of the season. It’s a simple thing, an act of love from one friend to another.
This particular book is called The Christmas Bus, and at this point I’m only on page 45. If you’ve read it, don’t tell me the ending!:)
I am grateful I have learned to treasure such a pure gift of the heart. Don’t get me wrong, I relish Christmas movies and I’ll definitely watch some of those too, but there’s something special and relaxing in a different way when settling in to read a book or a story.
It has taken me years to slow down enough to enjoy such a simple pleasure but this calming pace has enriched my enjoyment of the rest of the Christmas season beyond compare.
The opening quote is from my very favorite Christmas book. The quote embodies the true spirit of Christmas. If at no other time of the year, we should open our hearts to one another in love because Christmas celebrates the One who is the embodiment of good. He is the kindest, most loving, all-forgiving, most joyful and pleasant person we can ever meet.
JESUS! Do we know Him intimately? Is HE a part of our life story on a daily basis? Unless HE is, your heart will remain “Shut-Up” in some way or other. I challenge you to slow down your festive frenzied season. Take time to sit and READ about Jesus. Meditate over a cup of coffee or cocoa on His story and how He intersects it with yours.
This can pry open a scared, anxiety riddled heart and fill it with His gifts of Love, Joy and Peace. And really, isn’t that what we all want deep down inside? Love? Joy? Peace? When we can receive these beautiful gifts we are finally free to share them with others. Because we cannot give what we do not possess.
So give it a go, open your heart to Him. What have you got to lose but some frustration and frazzlement. HE can make all the difference in your Christmas season and the rest of your life! And maybe, just maybe, your own story will become more exciting than any Hallmark movie. You’ll be FLURISHING through Christmas!
Shine on. . .
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
I Thessalonians 5:11 English Standard Version
How many of you continue the tradition of sending Christmas cards? It’s something I look forward to every year. Yes, it is time consuming AND costly but I see it as a tiny gift of remembrance.
If I had uber millions of dollars I would buy everyone I know a gift, but since that is not the case, I send cards. It takes some money and some time but I feel its worth my investment. Just doesn’t seem the same to send a digitized greeting online.
The tradition of sending Christmas cards started in Europe in the 1840s when the idea of postal offices were first being organized. Cards were a way to generate revenue but only the very rich could afford to buy and send them which made it very special to receive a card. Nativity scenes adorned most of the first cards. Later snow scenes, flowers and birds also became popular Christmas card themes.
Annie Oakley of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show fame, sent the first known personalized Christmas card in 1891. Sort of an old fashioned selfie, it was a photo of herself wearing a Tartan while she was touring Scotland in December that year. She had it printed into cards to send friends and relatives back in the States as a Christmas greeting. She let them know even though faraway that they were on her mind.
Homemade cards and Christmas post cards became popular in the early 1900s since they were less expensive to give or send. In 1915 the Hall brothers created Hallmark cards which remains one of the biggest card makers to this day. You know, “When you care enough to send the very best” has been their time tested slogan.
Christmas cards at this time of year let others know you have fond memories of them. They let people know they are not forgotten. They can touch hearts in a cold and impersonal world. That is ever so important especially for those who live alone, who are hurting or faraway.
Sending a handwritten expression of our thoughts and feelings transports a little bit of love from you to the recipient. If we don’t send greeting cards at any other time of the year, let’s make an effort to send a few to those who are special to us. Let them know they matter to you. It could be the only bright spot in someone’s Christmas season.
” Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.” Philippians 1:3 New Living Translation
Is anyone on your mind this Christmas season? I encourage you not to let those precious thoughts and emotions drop into the abyss of holiday busyness. Take a few minutes to send some Christmas cheer to someone dear!
Shine on. . .
Dating Game Who’s Who: In 1978 serial killer Rodney Alcala competed and won the Dating Game just months before a vicious crime spree. Yikes!
Sure pays to be cautious and do some investigating to make wise choices in dating so you don’t find yourself in a dangerous and/or compromising position.
After you have all your personal ducks in a row as discussed in Parts I-IV, you are now ready to create your customized template to find a mate. All you need is an 8×11 inch sheet of paper. If you are the journaling type a notebook will help if you want to record more detail. You can also construct your graph on a computer if you like.
This method helped me tremendously. I attended a class for singles called Wise Choices taught by Lynne Babbitt, a local Christian Psychotherapist. (lynnebabbitt.com) She instructed us to create these graphs to evaluate healthy matches.
To start, divide the sheet whether paper or electronic into 8 equal spaces. Now label each square with the most important categories you want in a mate. Here are a few category examples for your consideration:
Now pick only 8 of these or some of your own. Take each category and break it down into 6 specific things you are looking for in a potential mate within that particular category.
Here is an example of the specific breakdown of the Emotional category:
And an example of the Character category:
For each of the eight main categories, you formulate six specific things within that category you desire most in a mate. You should end up with 48 different attributes to evaluate for each person you meet.
When you finish your custom graph make about 10 copies to start out and begin evaluating any person you already know with whom you are considering a relationship. After that anyone new you are considering should also be evaluated on their own separate graph. The scoring system is as follows;
2 points for the high score
1 point for so so score
0 points for non-existent score
Add up the scores in each of the eight categories. Then add those 8 scores together. The highest cumulative score anyone can receive is 96 because no one is a perfect 100.
If a prospective candidate scores less than 80 on your graph, don’t allow yourself to become involved with them. This person is not who you really want. It will be an unhealthy and unhappy relationship that is wasting your valuable time.
Some candidates will need to be evaluated over time since you won’t know them well enough to rate them when you first meet. Use your judgement and take your time in this process, it is worth the extra time and effort. Love at first sight is a myth, don’t fall for it.
Feelings alone cannot be trusted. This rating system will help you use your head and your heart to make wiser choices in relationships. Choosing a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions of life and this system helped me immensely . I hope it works the same for you!
Shine on. . .
Dating Game Who’s Who: In 1968 Bill Bixby appeared as a contestant for the fourth time. He lost each time! After that no more Mr. Nice Guy as Tom Corbett. Bixby magically turned into an angry Hulk. . . triple trivia for those who care.
We are now turning our attention to body shape and type. Even though this can be a touchy issue, we can’t fight city hall and we can’t fight our body type. So put your effort into accepting and embracing the body God gave you no matter which type and shape you have. Keep reading for some general info to point you in the right direction. Remember: Learn to work with what you got.
So which body type are you?
An Apple? Broader shoulders than hips— typically your body type will be a Mesomorph: muscular, well-built with high metabolism.
A Pear? Hip measurements greater than bust— Typically your body type will be an Endomorph: Bigger with higher body fat.
A Banana or Rectangle? Typically has waist measurements that are less than 9 inches smaller than hips or bust— Usually your body type is an Ectomorph: lean and long with difficulty building muscle.
Hourglass? Hip and bust measurements nearly equal with narrow waist—-and we all secretly envy you.
Inverted Triangle? Narrower hips than shoulders.
I am somewhat of a banana or rectangle shape. My waist is not small. I can’t build tons of muscle so I do weight work with light weights for toning purposes and bone strength. I do more cardio work to keep fat at bay.
Dressing for your shape enhances your overall look. Does your closet need an overhaul to include items for your specific shape? Here are a few fashion suggestions for each body type. Take an inventory of your closet to see if you have any of the articles listed for your shape. A few new pieces and pairing things in a different way could give your look a positive boost.
For the guys who are more visual: A few types are as follows:
Whatever your body type, work with it not against it. If your type struggles to build muscle, don’t waste your time body building. Google your body type and see what exercises are best for you. Reach your maximum body potential with a little research and some effort in new directions.
Of course each body type benefits from a healthy diet and regular exercise. No one wants to hear that who isn’t already doing it, but its true. So make some adjustments toward being the best you possible.
Begin with small changes but be consistent. Add one vegetable a day to your diet. Take a 20 minute walk three times a week are two good starters. Such changes done regularly will add up to a healthier you.
“Thank YOU for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous–how well I know it.” Psalm 139:14 New Living Translation
Shine on. . .
The Dating Game Who’s Who: Sally Field appeared on the first night time episode of the show in October of 1967. She refused to actually go out on the date with the bachelor she chose.
Ok, so last time we briefly explored makeup and hair regarding any needed improvements to make a good first impression in the Dating Game of life. Before we completely leave the crown area we have to turn our attention to the mind.
I trust you are mentally and emotionally stable as you follow this series. If you are unsure, please stop and get help before continuing to search for love because you are not yet ready to meet someone.
You attract people on the same level of emotional health as yourself. So you need to be emotionally healthy to find a good partner. Don’t overlook this principle because it is paramount to succeeding in finding and maintaining a healthy relationship.
After emotional stability, the next thing to check is attitude.
I liked the definition of attitude from BusinessDictionary.com; “A predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively toward a certain idea, object, person or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards (together called stimuli).
Four major components of attitude are (1) Affective: emotions or feelings. (2) Cognitive: belief or opinions held consciously. (3) Conative: inclination for action. (4) Evaluative: positive or negative response to stimuli.”
Attitude affects emotions, opinions, intentions, and actions. It’s so much more than just the way we physically carry ourselves. With God’s help we can control our attitudes. Truly.
We can choose to be positive or negative in our attitudes toward anything in life. A positive attitude is much more attractive to prospective dates. What is your attitude like, really? Are you a “Debbie Downer”, always seeing the glass half empty? Or are you engaging and positive toward life and ultimately pleasant company? If you are unsure, ask God and some people you trust to give you their honest opinion.
IF they tell you they see you as negative, you need to decide to adjust your attitude. It is possible. It isn’t easy but it will be so beneficial for you in life for years to come if you turn away from the dark side of negativity. And it will make you more attractive to everyone.
How to adjust your attitude?
The more you practice these strategies the easier and more natural they will become. In time your mindset will become positive in attitude and outlook.
Smiling from the inside out is always attractive!
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 New Living Translation
Shine on. . .
The Dating Game Who’s Who: Lee Majors appeared on The Dating Game and was chosen for the date on October 7, 1967.
This series more than most is coming out of my Life Coaching experiences. I pursued Life Coaching certification in 2011 because as a young adult I had no one to help me navigate the simple or the complex issues of life. I wanted to learn how to be that person others could turn to for help in achieving their highest potential and personal goals.
Loneliness is a problematic issue I truly wish no one had. I struggled with it for many years. My hope is to share what helped me overcome it so you too can have a better FLURISHING life.
So what has God revealed to your heart the last few days about yourself? Any new revelations? Continue asking Him and keep a written log of what He tells you. In the meantime lets do a physical evaluation.
How Dateable Are You?
Starting at the top:
HAIR— If you have some, are you making the most of it? Your hair is part of everyone’s overall attractiveness, especially women.
“Don’t you agree there is something naturally powerful in the symbolism—-a woman, her beautiful hair reminiscent of angels, praying in adoration; a man, his head bared in reverence, praying in submission?” I Corinthians 11:13-15 The Message Bible
Take care of your hair. Usually it’s the first thing a person sees about your face because it covers a larger area than eyes or lips. Duh. Keep it clean, keep it neat. Do you need a trip to the hair dresser? Perhaps a new or updated style? Maybe you need to try something completely different?
A note to guys: So what if you don’t have much hair? Shaving it off is only good if you have the right shape head and face for it. If you opt for facial hair keep it trimmed, few women like the out of control wiry hair that scratches our delicate skin.:) Like us girls you may also want to try some new looks?
To do this in an inexpensive and noncommittal way, try an app. There are countless apps out there, some free, some only 99 cents. You can use a photo of yourself to superimpose different styles, lengths and hair colors on your face. Men can even try on various facial hair styles. Possibilities are endless and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
Pick out a few styles you like and check with a trusted friend or relative OR send them to me and I’ll give you my take on them. Hair can be very personal so do a thorough study of your likes and dislikes. After you choose one, make an appointment for positive change. Don’t be afraid of change, it can be adventurous and exciting.
Don’t stay stuck in a hair rut just because it’s easy. Trust me, I understand wanting an easy-care style but if it doesn’t frame your face well it’s not doing you any favors. Plus a tired style can make you look dated and in some cases a lot older than you actually are. Yikes! Who wants to look older? No one over the age of 25.
A new style my take more effort but seeking a relationship also requires effort so think of yourself as “in training” for your future. You have to decide if easy is more important than improving your appearance to attract some positive attention.
Also, consider your skin tone when choosing hair color. I know some women over 50 who look fabulous in their natural silvery gray or white hair. What a huge money saving blessing. Unfortunately I am not one of them. My skin is so fair that gray or white hair makes me look pale to the point of appearing ill. So my hair dresser dyes my hair as close to my natural color as possible which right now looks best on me.
Maybe you have a great current hair cut but the hair itself is drab? Perhaps a new styling product is all that’s needed? Something to tame frizzies or bring back shine and sheen. Ask your stylist for recommendations for your specific hair type and style.
Whatever changes you decide to try, make the most of what you’ve got on the top. Do not underestimate the power of your hair!
Moving on from the crown of our heads to our faces: What is your best feature? Your eyes? Your skin? Your lips? Use make up to enhance your best features. If you’re like me and not good with make up, try a free makeover at a Clinique or Sephora counter at the mall or somewhere similar to get tips. And the golden rule of make up is always LESS IS MORE. Go for a natural look as much as possible.
More can totally be Gore!
So Stay tuned as we continue the journey to FLURISH in the dating Game.
Shine on. . .
If you you are a Baby Boomer you probably remember the original Dating Game show with host Jim Lange which ran from 1965-1973. Younger folks may be familiar as well since it ran as reruns in syndication into the year 2000.
I loved this show as a kid and watched it everyday during the summer when school was out. I learned a lot from the show about things I was too young to understand and perhaps should not have been exposed to, if you get my drift. Such shows intrigued me.
I had an intense desire to know how to get a guy to love me for a lifetime. So I also watched the Newlywed game. This show ran from 1966 to 1974 originally and then several times thereafter. Bob Eubanks hosted for the majority of the runs.
I enjoyed these shows but also watched to glean as much information as possible. I’d note which things worked and which did not.
Perhaps you find yourself in the “Dating Game” of life? How’s it going? Are you finding good results or spinning your wheels in the same old rut?
As a teenager I focussed on outward appearance. My own and whoever I happened to be interested in at the time. Ah youth and its follies. Of course I learned I needed to become a well-rounded person on the inside as well as the outside. That can take a lifetime for some of us. So what to do in the meantime?
Let’s explore this in the next few posts and see where it takes us. Join me if you need to find a date, a mate or are just curious.
Loneliness is no joke. It’s one of the biggest problems facing people today. If you are lonely, ironically you are not alone. BUT don’t accept loneliness as your lot in life. We were created for relationship. (See Genesis 2:18)
To begin, ask God to help you see yourself as He does, lovingly but realistically. Pray for that everyday until we meet back here next time.
“Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head.” Ephesians 4:15 Contemporary English Version
Shine on. . .
“. . . that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:15 English Standard Version
Female customer pulls up to my booth and exclaims,
“You’re the first person ever to wish me a Happy day,” I said.
“That’s a shame.” she looked truly shocked and disappointed.
I wondered after she left what kind of actuality constructed her everyday existence? A world where people naturally treat each other with respect and kindness. A reality where you expect good and glorious things to be happening for yourself as well as for everyone you meet. I don’t know about your world but mine is not nearly as positive as this woman’s seemed to be. If there is such a place, sign me up please!
I learned in the sixth grade that no such place existed in our present world. We were assigned some short stories to read that year and among them was a story based on a utopian society. Everything seemed perfect in this fictitious short story world until the author allowed you to see the motivations of the characters. Not exactly pure or lovely. Needless to say it did not have a happy ending.
So I felt a tad bit of envy for my customer’s attitude that day even if I secretly suspected her to be delusional. Then the thought occurred to me that if my surroundings are negative, dark or even somewhat dystopic, this may be my big opportunity to SHINE! What better way to make Christ known to those around me who are slogging through the grind of everyday?
Isn’t that what He wants us to do? To experience Him and be so transformed by His Holy Spirit that we instinctively rise above the ugliness that has invaded our world to the point where we are not affected by the negative? We see it and are saddened by it but we can prevent it from attaching to our mindset. His grace gives us the power to do this if we ask for it. This rising above is what sets us apart.
We are to be caring for and loving those in our sphere of influence. In this way we shine for Him and because of Him daily. I am committed to endeavor to let my light shine to a dark and dreary heart that may be passing by me. Sign me up! How about you?
“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3 English Standard Version
Shine on. . .
Someone I know is currently making their way back into the workforce after a hiatus to care for a loved one. During their recent job search they ran up against an unforeseen problem repeatedly at different companies for various positions. They felt discriminated against. The problem? they were not bilingual.
Should this be a requirement for employment even if the position does not specifically involve bilingual communication?
In my opinion the answer is NO. But that is only my opinion.
Furthermore, from my position working with traffic I see people everyday who cannot speak English driving tractor trailers. . . a highly dangerous situation. How do they read the road signs? Why are they not required to be bilingual and speak English? How did they get a license at the DMV in the U.S.?
This inquiring mind is almost afraid to ask!
Did you know the United States has no official language? I’ve always assumed it was English. Perhaps you did as well? But that is not the case. Almost every session of Congress includes an amendment to make English the official language of the U.S. but as of this date there is no official language for “we the people”.
There remains no official language on the books at the federal level, however, 27 states have adopted legislation granting official status to English in what has been called the English-Only movement. 27 states have existing official language laws on their books : Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.
There are also states with English-Plus resolutions passed. The English-Plus movement formed in reaction to the English-Only movement. Its intent is to promote greater acceptance of language diversity in the United States. States with English-Plus resolutions are: New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.
Now what I find incredibly interesting is that the U.S. Naturalization process REQUIRES each applicant to be able to read, write and speak basic English. So why don’t we have English as our official language?
What do you think? The more I research this issue the more complicated it gets:
Work Visas include L-1 and H-B1. Green cards, naturalization, permanent residency, citizenship— what do each of these terms mean and how do they work together for the good of our country? Does anyone really know? The complex system seems out of control. Is it too late to simplify some things starting with one official language for our country?
What do you think?
Can’t let this frustration affect my FLURISHING. I wait to hear your thoughts.
“For as he thinks within himself, so he is.” Proverbs 23:7a New American Standard Bible
Shine on. . .
Do you trust God to provide a good job for you?
Read the passage in Matthew 6:25-34
Thirty years ago I found myself in an unwelcome predicament. I quit a good job because my eyesight was declining rapidly from the strain of proofreading work. I had a new job lined up that I was excited to start, but during my training period on the new job I discovered I would have no guarantee of full-time hours after my two week training ended. At my interview I was told I would have a permanent position in a few weeks. That was not the truth. I accepted the job on false information. I felt betrayed.
Devastated by the news that I may only have 8 hours of work per week due to the nature of the job, I panicked. All I could do was cry. My father had died recently and my mother depended on me for care. We moved but hadn’t yet sold our former family home so my financial responsibilities included two households. What would I do? Frantic and frazzled, I cried more. I was a complete basket case.
I considered crawling back to my former employer even though he told me “not to let the door hit me on the way out”. Humiliation and my eyesight would have to take a back seat to survival for the moment, I thought. But before I made any firm decisions, my kind trainer, who knew my situation and rising fear, did something quite unusual.
On company time she took me out to breakfast at a nearby restaurant. My face still beet red from crying all morning over my situation, my trainer had a heart to heart talk with me. She explained the benefits of sticking it out at the new job. She was ready to retire and told me the retirement benefits alone were worth the uncertainty and inconveniences of the job especially if you were a one income household. She paid for my breakfast and I returned to work after I gained some composure and reflected on all she had said.
Later that day, fear invaded my mind and body like never before. I called several friends and my Pastor who each prayed for me over the phone. I had to make a decision soon. Bills were pouring in and my Mom was riddled with her own set of bizarre behaviors due to fear.
One particular friend came to the house to see me specifically to sit and read scripture to me. It was the second act of kindness and mercy during this time of adversity. As she read, my spirit settled a bit. With renewed faith in the provision of God, I decided to stay at the new job.
My training period ended and I had one eight hour shift assignment for the following week. Panic began rising again but I reported for duty that day inspire of it by the grace of God. I discovered that someone who had just become full-time had suddenly quit. I would now be able to slide into their position immediately. I couldn’t believe it… it was something akin to a miracle for me!
Everyone at the new company was surprised by this news, for it was unheard of to quit this type of job that was so difficult to acquire. I found out later that my full-time position became available because another young woman ran off with one of her customers. I heard he was a traveling salesman. I don’t know if that was true or a bad rumor but I gratefully accepted the position she vacated.
Currently I’ve been with the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission now for almost 30 years with a good retirement ahead of me. I have had some other lean times but God has always faithfully taken care of me and my needs.
Don’t doubt HIS provision for you. Trust Him. If HE took care of me, HE will take care of you.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 New Living Translation
Shine on. . .