What’s in your cup & remember how I told you high school was a bad idea?

You are holding a cup of coffee when someone comes along and bumps into you, making you spill your coffee everywhere. Why did you spill the coffee? You spilled the coffee because there was coffee in your cup. Had there been tea in your cup, you would have spilled tea. The point is whatever is inside the cup is what will spill out. Therefore, when life comes along and shakes you (which will happen), whatever is inside you will come out. It’s easy to fake it, until you get rattled. So, we have to ask ourselves, “What’s in my cup?” When life gets tough, what spills out? Joy, gratefulness, peace and humility? Or does anger, bitterness, harsh words, and reactions come out? You choose! Today let’s work towards filling our cups with gratitude, forgiveness, joy, words of affirmation, kindness, gentleness, and love for others.

Y’all. I didn’t write that above paragraph, myself. It was copied from a post I saw on Facebook. But BOY did it hit home. Did I tell you what happened to me when I went to register Miss Neenee for high school? We were inside the school. She wanted to see where her classes were. And of course I was excited to climb the stairs and walk all over kingdom come (just kidding, I was not). After my new high schooler had gotten her fill of the visions of classrooms, lockers, hall ways, & perfectly decorated bulletin boards, we headed to the car. When we walked out of the building toward the parking lot, we were greeted by 2 enthusiastic and information bearing kids.

One of the boys said to my excited new  high schooler, “Are you a trumpet player?”

In which my trumpeter replied, “Yeah.”

Then, the boy replied, “Well, your car just got hit.”

WHAT??

Evidently, I must have had that look, because here came the band director. Walking from the site of the accident toward me.

There was a short conversation between the band director & I. He briefly told me a young man accidently backed into my car. He said he the young man was very sorry & had social anxiety. Basically, the kid was afraid I was going to come out with all fists flying, pitching a dying duck dog fit about my car. I looked down the way at the worried & scared look on the boy’s face & immediately felt bad for him. I walked down to my car with my daughter following behind me. Even though this was a situation I wish I didn’t have to deal with, I thought it was a teachable moment. As I walked up & looked at the HUGE dent in my bumper,

I looked over at the boy & said, “Are you okay?” He was so nervous.

He muttered out, “Yes ma’am. I’m really sorry.”

I said, “Don’t worry about it. We can fix cars. We can’t always fix people.” I smiled at him & you could tell he felt more at ease. Now when his dad showed up, I’m not so sure what he felt. But his dad & I exchanged pleasantries and insurance information. The law showed up to make their report & as we departed the parking lot, the young man told me again he was sorry. I let him know if this was the worst thing that ever happened to him, he would be ok. Things happen.

Was this an inconvenience? Yes. Was everyone okay? Yes. Could I have showed out and acted a fool? Probably. But what good would that have done? It wouldn’t have changed the fact my car still needed repair. But, what spilled out of my cup, that time, was forgiveness, patience, & hopefully kindness. Do I always act on my best behavior? Probably not. I am human & sometimes I do say & act in a way that my mama would be ashamed of. However, I can get it together every so often, more so than on other occasions.

What’s in your cup today? Is it filled with hate, spite, & an unforgiving spirit? When you are shaken, does your cup spill out bitterness & sharp words? Or does it spill out thankfulness, compassion, & warmhearted actions?

I Peter 3: 8 Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; (NKJV)

Are your ways prideful & judgmental? Or are they filled with mercy & grace?

Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.(NKJV)

Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.(NKJV)

Since I have gotten a little older, I seem to be of the opinion, kindness needs to be deliberate & practiced ALL THE TIME. You never know what someone might be going through. And believe me I have never came across anyone without problems. You may be the only light they see in a world of gloom & doom. This world needs love. Why don’t we make an effort to show the Christ like love we would want shown to us? Life is a circle. What comes around, goes around. You get what you give out. So, next time someone gives you a short answer, just smile & kindly thank them. They may have just gotten some really bad news. Or they could just have their cup filled with some stinkin’ rotten things. Either way, your kind heart might just change their way of thinking. If not, you will be still be doing the right thing.

Like my Mamaw used to say, “Don’t act ugly.”

Y’all, can I say we have just been enjoying the fire out of Miss Neenee being in the band? This means we have a reason to go to the football games again. And boy do we love it. We did however make mention how we miss my son-in-law there. He is deployed right now. He loves sports and competition and yelling for our team. So much, that my daughter may or may not have to tell him to sit down before he gets thrown out of the game. He gets a bit riled up. And we love him for it. I hope your weather has been pleasant. Someone said fall is beginning. I’m not sure where they are, but here in northeast MS it is still HOT AS BLUE BLAZES. I hope you all have a relaxing weekend. We will be at the ballgame tonight cheering on our little trumpet player. Until next time I have to be going because I should be washing clothes.

 

Look at that game face.Almost got her to smile.Yes this is a HUGE football helmet with smoke billowing out of it. We are just fancy like that.

Football good times.

photo credits: Facebook, http://www.ellenlandreth.wordpress.com, pinterest

 

 

 

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Helpful hints for a good spiritual spring cleaning

Well, it’s that time again. Time for a good spring cleaning! When I think about spring cleaning, I think about my house. My windows need washing, the rugs need cleaning, the ceiling fans need dusting, & the air conditioner filters need replacing. Y’all, I am just getting tired thinking about all of it!

Just think about it though.

Does our inner man need a spring cleaning, too?

What if we made a conscience effort to get the cob webs out of our hearts? What if we swept jealousy & comparing ourselves to others straight out the door? What would our God given houses be like if we just flat out wiped out hate and filled it back up with love? Like the love I have for chocolate gravy & biscuits.

James, the brother of Jesus,  talks about this in

James 1:21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. (NKJV)

Peter mentions it, as well, in

I Peter 2:1 Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking,

And I can’t go without including the fruit of the Spirit (notice this says “fruit” as in singular, as in one-which means all of these beautiful qualities go together. As in you need to have all of these, not just pick which one you want to do & leave the rest out.)

Galatians 5: 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)

Let’s take a look at ourselves (me included, because I need it more than anybody!). Let’s make sure we have the most important aspect in our lives first, LOVE. Then, I really believe the rest will fall into place.

Matthew teaches in Matthew 12, that if we get rid of something bad in our lives, we need to immediately fill it back up with something good. If we don’t we chance more bad coming back into our hearts.

43 “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. 44 Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first. So shall it also be with this wicked generation.”(NKJV)

Whew! Spring cleaning is hard! Especially when you have to get rid of things like being unforgiving & having bitterness in your heart. Things like this is like old baggage you have tucked back in the corner of a closet & forgotten about. It’s been around so long, that you hardly notice it’s holding you up in your walk with God.

Ephesians 4:31-32 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. (NKJV)

How about we all get to work on spring cleaning? I know I sure need it. I’m so glad you stopped by today. I presented the good news to Miss Neenee last night that school would be out next month. As in NEXT MONTH. She was just pleased as punch to know she would have a break before long. Come on summer!! I hope you have a blessed week. As for me, I have got to be going because I should be washing clothes.

photo credits: quotesgram.com, whatchristianswanttoknow.com, newhealthom.com

 

Stumbling block inventory

Finding faults in others is a popular pastime.  Unfortunately, a lot of us find it’s easy to join the fun. Concentrating on the flaws of others can be a great way to feel better about ourselves.  That’s typically, the problem!  Avoiding the faults that need to be fixed in our own lives, not only dampers our spiritual growth, it too gets in the way of God’s work through us. God’s effectiveness through our lives is made better or is hindered by the way we live.

In Romans 14:13 the apostle Paul tells of the character we should have.

Therefore, let us not judge one another, anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Back up in verse 10 he states:

But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

We are all in this together.  Why be so petty about things?

If we want to be authentic & useful for the Lord, we must continually take a stumbling block inventory.  At times stumbling blocks are things that in and of themselves may be real.  Yet in certain contexts, may be inappropriate.  But sin is clearly a stumbling block to others.  Gossip, slander, boasting, bitterness, greed, abuse, anger, selfishness, and revenge all close the hearts of those around us to the message God sends through us.  Just to think, our lives, may be the only Bible some people ever see.  Now, that’s a big responsibility that we have.  To keep ourselves clean & unspotted from the world. (James 1: 27)  You may say, “but you just don’t know how mean this person is or how hurtful they have been to me.” I do know this, there is no problem too big that you & God can’t work out. Let God have His way with people.  In life people will be mean, rude, unfair, gossipy, hurtful, and greedy.  Pray for those people.  Don’t let their hatred consume your heart & make you the same things they are. We must be the bigger person.

In Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus preaching his sermon from the mountain said this:

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. v.44 But I say to you, love our enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” 

Now, that’s a tough pill to swallow!  Pray for someone who has said bad things about me?  Pray for someone who has embarrassed me?  Pray for someone whose selfishness has caused me to hurt?  You may ask,”Why does that person deserve my prayers?”  If you look at it from God’s perspective- these prayers are for your benefit.  For you to keep a heart that’s willing to mention a person who does not deserve God’s graciousness.  Those people are the ones who need it the most.  And it’s hard to keep bitterness locked up in a heart full of prayer.  God does not want us to be angry.  He wants us to love.  And what better way to keep that love in your heart, than to lift up someone in prayer? It’s hard to be selfish or mad when you are asking a blessing over someone who’s wronged you.  Get the picture?  God loves us & does not want us to be someone who lets a situation eat at them.  He wants us praying for each other & not being someone with so much emotional baggage that His work can’t be seen in us.

I Cor 13: 4-5 says thatprov love is kind, does not envy, does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil.

We should strive to condition ourselves to be kind, no matter what.  God says in order to love, we must be kind.  In the end, our kindness is what matters the most.  We have to be responsible for what we have done in our lives, how we have acted & treated people, not how they have treated us.  God will have His day with those folks! He even says so –

Romans 12:19…”Vengence is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 

Now, don’t you think God can handle these hard to deal with people better than you?  Of course He can.  A dear friend of mine has said her mother used to say, “Kill them with kindness.”  I think that is a very good lesson.  When someone hurts your feelings, just be kind.  When someone says mean things about you, be kind.  When someone is rude to you, be kind.  That way, they can see God living in you.  That will either turn them toward God, or just make them mad.  Either way, you have done your part by being what God wants you to be- kind.

So, let’s replace our faults with the wonderful ways of Jesus.  This will help others to see our Savior more clearly.

Some of this message was taken from an Our Daily Bread article written by Joe Stowell.  I have so many thoughts about this subject.  Maybe I will write more about it later.  But for now, I have to go because I should be washing clothes………..