Focus on the Main Thing

A former pastor used to say “keep the main thing, the main thing.” And, he was right. Too often we lose focus and before long we end up off course and away from the direction in which God intended for us.

I got an email today about a particular campaign push. A group of people are encouraging those “like-minded” individuals (their words, not mine) to send mail to a particular place in a particular colored envelope on a particular day for a particular cause. And, while their intent may be good, their aim is misguided. For this said cause, the problem is not the person or institution to which they are addressing the mail. The problem is the underlying sin.

The person/institution to which this group is directing their anger/anguish/outrage toward had nothing to do with the condition that is at hand. In fact, the perpetrators are those who made the decision to participate in an act that could and often does lead to a particular condition. This choice, in the wrong environment, is sin. Yet, this group, has wrongly tried to place the blame on this one person/one institution. This group is not keeping the main thing, the main thing.

So, therefore, please consider everything and every angle when you make your decisions. Keep the main thing, the main thing. We are not living to blame others for our own choices, but instead we are striving to be accountable to the decisions that we do make. We are striving to keep God as our focus. We are striving to become more-Christlike; keeping the main thing, the main thing.

Keep your focus on the main thing.

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The Word in My Heart

I bet you already know that I’m about to talk about a song… This morning, the lyrics that are floating around my head are “standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Savior, standing, standing, yes, I’m standing on the Word that’s in my heart.” Which brings me to an interesting place this morning.

What Word is in my heart?

There are many different ways that the Word can get in your heart.
(a) Attend church and as the pastor preaches and you are willing (the two have to go together, then you will get the Word in your heart. If your heart is hard, then you won’t get the Word in your heart. If you are receptive, then it can seep on in.
(b) Listen to music that teaches the Word of God. You cannot get the Word in your heart by listening to things that contradict the Word of God. Those things don’t agree.
(c) Study your Bible and Christian-related resources. Notice the order. Bible first. When you study for yourself, you feed yourself – your spirit. And, once you have feasted on the Word, it is stored in your heart.
(d) Talk with others that have the Word in their heart. They are always ready to share their experiences with the Word of God. Yes, they are – so be ready! Have some time on your hands! 🙂

So, presuming that you already have some Word in your heart, it’s time for an examination. What’s in there?

It’s important to take inventory so that you have the appropriate equipment to stand on in the time of storm. It is not enough to know just one thing about God – He’s multi-faceted. He’s multi-dimensional. We can never learn it all but we must learn of Him. How can you say that you love someone when you don’t know them?

So, take a heart inventory. And when you are done, know exactly what you have to stand on.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

The Ministry of Music

Music ministers to me. No matter what I am doing, at some point, a song may pop in my head that speaks to my direct situation or provides some wisdom and guidance that I can use in my counseling. I love the ministry of music.

That’s why it is so important that we pay attention to music today. Music has a way of getting into our very spirits. When we listen to God-glorifying music, we are prone to respond in worship. When we listen to devil-glorifying music – the same applies.

Now, I know that some of you just shrugged or had an adverse reaction to my last statement. But, it’s still true. Pay attention to what you listen to and then watch how you respond.

When you listen to praise music, don’t you just find yourself glorifying God by clapping your hands or singing along? Now, compare that to when you find yourself listening to non-Christian radio or songs.

If that song has a strong beat, other parts of your body begin to move – check out what’s moving….

When I used to listen to secular music, it was easy to move from the two-step (you know that side-to-side thing we do when we are warming up to take over the dance floor) – anyway – I could move from the two-step to full-fledged dances that I would not dare do in church in front of an assembly of worshippers. Hmmmm. My flesh and spirit were not agreeing. So, I had to cut that type of dancing lose. I was a young Christian then and well, the Holy Spirit had to teach me that I should and could do better than that with the body that God gave me. And, back then, my body could really move!

Now, not so much. But, with age comes wisdom!!!

On GMA this morning, there was a discussion on lyrics that on the surface appeared innocent but in actuality were far from innocent. They mentioned Brittany Spears’ song that is #35 right now on the Billboards – I missed the title of the song – sorry. And, then they gave the classic example of Puff the Magic Dragon. And, well, everyone knows what was going on there.

Children were listening to these songs and figuring out the meaning. Pre-teens, y’all.

So, please, be careful about what you let minister to you. It can shape your direction in a way that you do not need to be going.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Accountability Partners

It’s so easy for the adversary to sneak in when we least expect it.

We go about our daily routine … then we get busy … and then that time for devotion and time alone with the Lord just slips away… and one day turns into two… two days turns into three… three days turn into two weeks… two weeks turn into “I don’t know when was the last time I spent quality time with the Lord.”

Meanwhile, the enemy is busy too. He wants to distract us just a little bit at first. He’s patient. He can wait. So, he distracts us with the emergency and makes us rush so that we forget to pray – or feel that we don’t have time to pray. Then he makes his next move, but it’s so subtle, you don’t even notice it. And before long, he’s got us right where he wants us – with a gap between the Father and ourselves.

He wants us standing on our own feet. Self-reliant.

God wants us on our knees in prayer or leaning on Him, alone. God-dependent.

A few of my friends and I are going to spend a year with God together through a daily devotional. We will be utilizing a common book that has a journal component to it. We’re looking forward to it and I believe it’s going to be a great time of worshipping God together. But, what I like most about it is that we are going to be able to better recognize the attacks that come – we will be better able to recognize that subtle move of the enemy so that we don’t get so far off track that we can’t remember when we spent quality time with God. It’s when you think that it can’t happen to you that it’s already happening…

If you do not already have one, make a plan to get an accountability partner that will HELP keep you focused on God.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Have you been to www.donorschoose.org?


Gratitude and giving have been on my mind for quite awhile. And, I’ve been thanking God and giving to people as He directs me. It’s been quite an experience. Sometimes, I get a “thank you” back from those that He directs me to help, and other times, I don’t know what the response to the aid will be. It’s kinda neat to know that I’m making a positive impact on those that I reach whether I see it or not.

I was talking to one of my co-workers. She has an adopted child as well as three children that she sponsors through various organizations. She sponsors this one kid in Kenya and has done so for years. They have a relationship through the Christian Children’s Fund. I haven’t fully committed to sponsorship in that fashion but if God leads me that way, I will. One thing that I have done is something that she mentioned to me. She donates to an organization called Donors Choose.

I instantly liked what I read when I went to their website, www.donorschoose.org. You can sponsor a teacher’s classroom project for any school across the country where the teacher has put in a project. I wanted to stay local, so I sponsored a project in my state. As a result, I got a “thank you” from the teacher and because this time, I provided the rest of the money needed, therefore, completing the funding, the students will send me little “thank yous” as well. I’m thinking it will probably be a card or something, but I just love the idea. I like choosing where I donate and knowing exactly what the money buys. I really like knowing that children will really learn from the materials. It’s a great opportunity to impact our future.

Now, it’s not that I get hung up on knowing what the impact of giving does; instead, knowing motivates me to do more; give more; beyond my giving for the sake of giving.
So, if you get a chance, check out www.donorschoose.org. I’m sure you’ll find a project or two to sponsor.

Blessings,
Sanya

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Psalm 14:1 is Right

You may have seen this in your email:

FLORIDA COURT SETS ATHEIST HOLY DAY

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the coming Easter and Passover holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days.

The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,”Case dismissed!”

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays.”

The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.”

The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance
or holiday for atheists.”

The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day.

Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’
Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool.

Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.

You gotta love a Judge that knows his scripture!

I got a good chuckle out of it, but we must be very mindful that there are those around us that do not worship the One True God; and they will stop at nothing to assert their rights to believe this way. Well, that’s their choice. But, as Christians, we must also assert our own freewill. We protect and defend the rights that are ours as well to worship and celebrate the True God; our Sovereign Lord. Stand up for Christianity. Never let someone back you down on what you believe and do not bend just because it is convenient. Our nation has been bending and now, look at the results. A nation founded on Christianity has taken prayer out of schools, and wants to take the provisional God that keeps us off of our money. My, my, my. Comprise and appeasement has set us backwards.

So, chuckle at the story – yes, but recognize the reality. And, when you do – pray!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Check Your Gratefulness Meter

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.

Have you used one to say “thank you?”

~William A. Ward

It has been on my heart to write about gratitude for about a week now. I’ve put it off because I didn’t want to get into the whole area of gratitude. By suggesting that someone is not grateful, well, that has the potential to cause a few problems.

So, this is what I propose. Read the post and if I happen to step on your toes, then just say “ouch” and don’t send me any “hate” comments. Agreed?

How can you know if you are ungrateful?

  1. Well, if you can look at situation for what you don’t have, instead of appreciating what you do have – you may need to check your gratefulness meter because you’re running low.
  2. If you can criticize those who try to help you for what they don’t have and what you do have – you may need a gratefulness tune-up.
  3. When you wake up every morning, if there is not a thank you on your lips to God the Father, you really need to check that gratefulness meter.
  4. If you have had opportunity after opportunity and fail to give God proper thanks and praise for what He is doing in your life – take your meter to the altar. Silence does not convey gratitude.

I won’t go on – not in this post – but if you find yourself in this small list, correct the situation now. Ask God to give you a grateful heart with the ability to express your gratitude towards Him and towards those people in your life who help you and are there for you.

I did a quick google search and found some gratitude quotes that I’d like to share with you now:

  • The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you. ~John E. Southard
  • For each new morning with its light, For rest and shelter of the night, For health and food, for love and friends, For everything Thy goodness sends. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Praise the bridge that carried you over. ~George Colman
  • Gratitude is the best attitude. ~Author Unknown
  • Gratitude is the least of the virtues, but ingratitude is the worst of vices. ~Thomas Fuller
  • If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily. ~Gerald Good

You can find more quotes on: http://www.quotegarden.com/gratitude.html

God bless you.

Sanya

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Cheesy Chicken Mac

Yum-o! (does Rachel Ray say that?) Anywhoooooo -gotta tell you about my new yummy receipe.

Last week, I was at a conference and they served an interesting dish for lunch one day. I thought it strange and well, rather cheap considering the money my company had laid down for me to attend said conference. But, as I piled it on my plate, I began to see that just maybe, this was going to taste pretty good.

So, when I got home, I made the recipe by remembering what I saw and tasted! I named it the Cheesy Chicken Mac. I used the following ingredients:

  • chicken
  • whole wheat elbows
  • four types of cheese (Kraft) plus sharp cheddar (I think they just used cheddar)
  • mushrooms (my addition – I make any excuse to include mushrooms in my casseroles)
  • peas (my addition – for color)
  • sour creme
  • creme of chicken (my addition – just to add a little umph of more flavor)
  • chicken stock
  • onion (my addition – seasons it lightly)

Essentially, I threw it all together once I cooked the chicken and noodles, then put it in a baking dish, topped it the remaining cheese and a bit of stuffing and YUM-O!

It’s not figure friendly, but it is soooo good. Let me know if you try it. 🙂

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Internet Gone Wild!

Oh me. The media and media outlets have seemingly gone wild. Whatever happened to truth in journalism? Didn’t I just write about this last year?

All of these biased reports on the economy and stimulus spending is driving me bonkers! So, I turned from the media to the hopeful comfort of bloggy land. Perhaps I’d find comfort there.

I was wrong.

I was browsing a few blogs and well, where is the truth? Where is anything good or affirming?

Not to say that there aren’t any good blogs – of course there are good blogs. Refresh My Soul is a blog that I’ve been following for years and over the years I’ve only known it to be a good blog, full of truth. And there are many other good blogs out there. So, don’t get me wrong, there are some solid, truthful writers out there in the blog-o-sphere.

I was just surprised at how many other blogs were so… – well, not what I was expecting!

I guess the gray area for me is when bloggers and media types get to interject our opinion to the detriment of others.

  • I saw on one blog how the writer had the audacity to criticize those that had helped them when the writer themselves did not know what to do. Who does that? What happened to showing a bit of humility and gratitude?
  • I saw on another blog how the writer claims patriotism but them beats down the current president and administration which has been in office less than two months. What happened to prayer when we have differences? What happened to giving someone the benefit of the doubt and giving them time?

I stopped searching through random blogs and went back to my familiar writers who steep their writing in the truth of Scripture. And, therein, I found some peace. But, here’s my pledge to you, my dear readers:

I will speak the truth in love. I will retain my opinion pieces, but I will cover my words with love – even when chastisement becomes necessary.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

From Blog to Radio

Hey!

Do you remember awhile back I entered a contest over at Lysa’s site and was chosen as one of the winners? She was going to make a 60-second spot out of one of my blog post, Do the Hard Thing. Well, I missed the actual on-air spot, but it looks like she’s posted the transcript on her blog. So, if you’d like to check it out, click here.

Praise God!
Sanya

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.