I came across a five dollar bill in the car’s center counsel so I decided to give it to the car wash worker. I was in a location I don’t normally frequent and I thought for a minute: I should save it for my town, but I decided to give it to this man and it was received with such humility, sincerity, and appreciation. These are tough times. I don’t know what that bill will be spent on, but that little worker bee began scrubbing my hood and windshield and back window with so much gusto.
I had been to a graduation physically distanced parade and had some chalk painting on several windows congratulating the graduates.
I assumed the car wash would get it off.
It did not.
So, I turned the car around and went back into the car wash again.
I told the worker my dilemma and he again scrubbed those windows valiantly.
I’m convinced if I hadn’t given him that tip to begin with he would’ve been annoyed and even haphazardly washed the car. And I wasn’t gonna go through a third time.
About an hour later, I noticed that the casing for the side mirror was gone. I tried calling the car wash with no avail or answer. So, I drove back to ask if he could check to see if it had fallen inside.
Again, I’m convinced if I hadn’t given him a big tip to begin with he would’ve been annoyed or even unwilling to check. What’s the point?
Our generosity can produce kindness in others.
“Be kind to others…” Ephesians 4.32
“One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11.24-25
Strive to . . .
and when we choose to, the world really will be a better place.
in all circumstances, even when no words are spoken except through a five dollar bill.
Disappointments come in all kinds of shapes and forms. They can be with people, failed plans, or even covid19 disruptions. It is what we do when they come that is a true test of character.
Christ told us we would have troubles not if or when but that we would.
“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16.33
The answer to disappointment is in that verse. Read it again.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
So, what are we to do when trouble comes? Know we can still have peace because of Christ!
What comfort and hope to lean in to our Savior!
And the best part is knowing this old world with all its trouble is not the end. Problems as fear of failure, fear of viruses, racism, selfishness, self preservation or success at the cost of another, and the list can go on, we must contend with on a daily basis. What would you add?
A glorious day we can look forward to is coming when we meet our Saviour face to face in glory.
Not only did He promise to give us peace, He promised He would return: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14.1-3
Here’s some other powerful passages to be encouraged about Christ’s return:
“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” I Thessalonians 4.16-17
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21.25-28
Until then don’t let disappointment reign. A heart divided can not breed contentment. Harboring hurts of today only ruins tomorrow.
It is not quite what you might picture – a hawk attacking, but rather this scenario is where a hawk was being attacked. Well, least those brave little band of birds were trying with out much success.
Covid19 gave me the opportunity to slow down and take some nature happenings in where I might have overlooked and definitely not stayed for the duration of the battle.
I always am in awe of Elohim – the name of God as our Creator. We really need to take in all He has created for us to enjoy and learn from.
Today, it was from a hawk attack.
We heard a raucous of birds outside and upon investigation, saw a hawk perched high up on a pole that we would have referred to as a telephone pole when I was younger. Now, it holds electrical wires and street lamps. So, here was the hawk and a few feet down the post for the lamp was a brave robin bawking as loud as it could and inching closer to that hawk.
Then, to our surprise, it darted right at it with barely a flinch from that old hawk. But, what happened next was even more shocking, several other birds came circling around and darting at it too. What I could gather was the whole neighborhood of birds were banding together to protect their young and nests. They were trying to thwart off the threat and were definitely stronger together. In the end, I am not sure if babies were saved or if they truly triumphed over that enemy, but oh what a valiant effort!
And so it is with us humans, our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion as stated in I Peter 5.8.
Are we giving our best foot forward to defeat him?
Are we banding together with other brothers and sisters in Christ to make a more concerted effort?
What can we do to give that old ‘hawk’ a run for his money?
We must remember that we are made for community.
Community makes us stronger.
Community unites us.
And community is life-giving.
In the hawk attack, it literally was preserving life.
Those little, brave winged creatures were definitely stronger together.
It is the same with us. We are better together than alone.
“For just as in one [physical] body we have many parts, and these parts do not all have the same function or special use, so we, who are many, are [nevertheless just] one body in Christ, and individually [we are] parts one of another [mutually dependent on each other]. Romans 12.4-5 AMP
Just as that hawk was looming over head and that one bird tried to do a little damage, it was only when the community of birds came together that they had a fighting chance.
Often Satan wants us to feel alone or get us to believe isolation is best and that we can fight the battle on our own. But, can we really?
Those tiny fowl were literally bearing each other’s burdens (Galatians 6.2) and displaying in full color how two (or three or four or ten) are better than one (Ecclesiastes 4.9).
How can you come alongside another and lift them up?
How can you band together like those little birds that became a flutter of wings attempting to overcome the threat?
“That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together…” I Corinthians 12.25
The Michael W. Smith song Surrounded has a line that says: “This is how I fight my battles.”
When we feel surrounded (maybe like the hawk being attacked), remind yourself when we put on the garments of praise and get in a posture of thanks towards God, the enemy has to flee. It may look and feel like you are surrounded, but know God is always willing and ready to surround and fight for you. Aren’t you glad you can say: “My God fights for me!”
Delayed gratification is the best kind and a great lesson for kids and adults alike.
Adults, start saving for that dream vacation or start dreaming what you will do when regulations lift after covid19. Thinking about a plan helps the present restrictive present be more bearable.
So, I suggest during these trying times help yourself and any kids in your life have something to look forward to or come up with a plan for them to earn something might just prove a small price to pay for living in harmony and keeping sane during quarantine.
I watched a video where a little girl waited two years to get to go to Disney World. It was the only Christmas present that year for the kids. Her emotion overtook her as the gift of time and presence was received.
This reminded me of what God wants of us.
God wants our time.
He wants our presence.
And remember His promises always come to past, but more often than not it just might not be on our time table.
During these uncertain times we are walking through, remember:
• God is in control;
• He’s still on the throne;
• and He is in the business of seeing to it that all His plans come to fruition in His own sweet time.
Let His Word ignite your heart and help you…
to a world full of fear and uncertainty.
“And He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also He said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’” Revelation 21.5
“God has made everything beautiful for its own time. ” Ecclesiastes 3.11
As governments try to figure out how to ease back in to a new normal, please remember:
🛑 Some people don’t agree with the opening…that’s okay, be kind.
🏡 Some people are still planning to stay home…that’s okay, be kind.
🦠 Some are still scared of getting the virus and a second wave happening…that’s okay, be kind.
💰 Some are sighing with relief to go back to work knowing they may not lose their business or their homes…that’s great, be kind.
👩🏾⚕️Some are thankful they can finally have a surgery they have put off…that’s good, be kind.
📝 Some will be able to attend interviews after weeks without a job…be encouraging, be kind.
😷 Some will now always wear masks…god for them, be kind.
💅🏻 Some people will rush out to get the hair or nails done…that’s okay, be kind.
👉🏽 The point is, everyone has different viewpoints/feelings and that’s okay, just be kind.
We don’t have to agree, but we can be kind if we disagree.
We each have a different story. If you want to stay home, stay home, just be kind! If you need to go out, just respect others when in public and be kind! Don’t judge fellow humans because you’re not in their story or have the same views. We all certainly are in different mental states than we were months ago. So, what are we to do? JUST BE KIND!
Please remember this and try to be loving everyday to everyone for “Love is patient and love is kind.” (from I Corinthians 13)
As we are: “kind to one another, tenderhearted, and forgiving just as Christ has forgiven us…”(from Ephesians), the world will see us…
This entry was a Facebook post that I copied, edited, and added to. I do not know the original post-er or I would give credit where credit is due. Just trying to be kind (see what I did there). 😊
Along with economic loss and social changes (as mandatory mask wearing or socially distanced regulations), this pandemic has brought fear, isolation, loneliness, depression, and despair.
The statistics we are not hearing about often come from some of the above.
Let’s take a look on the other side of the fence.
It has been one month since 12 year old Hayden Hunstable took his life just days before his 13th birthday. I didn’t know him, but God loved him, his family loved him, and his dad is doing amazing to educate about the devastating affects of isolation.
You can read more about his particular story and what his dad is now doing by following this link:
Today, join me in praying for the “social and emotional development of our youth.”*
“Support non-profits focused on gaming and technology psychology, addiction, and abuse among children and young adults.”*
Also, pray for the many healthcare workers families who snapped during this crisis and took their own lives. I can’t imagine the sorrow felt by loved ones left behind.
These are crazy and unprecedented times. But, always keep the fact that God is in control, on His throne, and always near and dear to whoever calls upon Him. He is always as close as the mention of His name.
Call upon Jesus often as you daily pray for those on the other side of the fence.
Let us all strive to…
especially to the hurting world around us. People need to know there is a loving God who offers hope and suicide is not the answer to the hopelessness they may feel.
God does and will use everything for good. May we all feel His love and peace even in the midst of great sorrow.
“The Lord is close to everyone who calls out to Him, to all who call out to Him sincerely.” Psalm 145.18
So, supposedly today is chocolate chip day. I imagine there is a day out there for anything you could think of or come up with to honor, but I say we need things to celebrate especially during quarantine.
God desires us to delight in things. What is it that gets your fancy? If it is not chocolate chips, what can you celebrate today?
There is so much in life for us to delight in. We can start with the Lord – His goodness, faithfulness, love.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37.4
Also, when we turn our hearts towards gratitude and enjoy the many things we have to be thankful for, it sure makes life a little sweeter.
So, go ahead eat those chips and celebrate the fact you are alive and have taste buds to enjoy them.
Although chocolate chip cookie day is not til August, I say go bake a batch today. (See some famous recipe options and cooking tips below.)
Then go share them with your neighbors (socially distanced of course) or drop some at the door step of relatives or friends.
In these trying times, spreading a little joy will definitely help you…
What other ideas do you have to spread joy during these crazy times? Please comment below so we can all apply them too.
Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie Ingredients
Baking soda and baking powder
Dark brown sugar
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Milk chocolate bar
Preheat oven. Line baking sheets.
Grind outs in a food processor.
In a bowl whisk together ground outs, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
In an electric mixer cream butter and sugars.
Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla.
Blend in flour mixture, then mix in chocolate chips and chocolate, and walnuts if using.
Scoop dough out nearly 1/4 cup at a time and shape into balls.
Transfer to baking sheets and bake until set.
Just be sure to under-bake these slightly so you don’t end up with a dry cookie. The centers should be moist and chewy and you should have those buttery, crisp edges.
You’ll know that these homemade chocolate chip cookies are ready to come out of the oven when they’ve gone a light golden brown around the edges and on top. The centers of these cookies will be slightly moist when you take them out of the oven.
It’s best if you use unsalted butter, otherwise these cookies might be too salty. Remember that you’re also adding in 3/4 teaspoon of salt as well.
These Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookies can be kept in a sealed container on your countertop for several days. If they go a bit stale, just dunk them in a little milk.
To freeze these cookies, let them cool completely on your counter. Then freeze them in a freezer-safe bag and reheat them in the oven on a low heat when you’re ready to enjoy the leftovers.
A few more tips:
Under-bake the cookies. These homemade chocolate chip cookies won’t look completely done when you take them out of the oven, but remember that they’ll continue cooking on the hot cookie sheet.
The butter should be softened, but still slightly firm when making the cookie dough.
If you don’t have a chocolate bar, you can add in more chocolate chips instead.
Above recipe and tips from classycooking.com
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe
This recipe makes about 3 dozen medium or 18 large cookies
2 1/2 cups flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks butter), softened 1 cup packed brown sugar 3/4 cup powdered sugar 2 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 330°F. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a large bowl and set aside. Combine butter, brown sugar and powdered sugar in a separate bowl and cream with electric mixer until fluffy.
With mixer running, add eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
Mix until combined, scraping sides of bowl.
Slowly add flour mixture, scraping sides of bowl. Stir in chocolate chips.
Scoop 1 tablespoon dough for medium cookies and 2 tablespoons for large onto ungreased baking sheet.
Bake until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes for medium cookies, 12 to 14 minutes for large.
Classic Toll House chocolate chip cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 cup chopped nuts
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.
SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.
* May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.
FOR HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet):Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
Some mums give birth Some give the child away What a gift for another to now be honored on this day
Some mums lose their earthly battle before their little ones are grown Some lose their little ones and live in empty homes
Some mums are loving and do not discipline
Others are tyrants trying to beat out all the sin
Mum, mumsy, mama bear, or mommy may all be heard across the land But the greatest gift a mum can share is when a little one takes a relationship with Jesus in their own hands
You see there is no grandchildren in heaven only sisters and brothers over there So, you better make a plan on where you will spend eternity now and here
Happy Mother’s Day to those who gave birth or raised kids not their own, but more importantly spiritual mums who pointed others to the cross training others in righteousness.
If you are a women, live out the scripture and help others see what is true, lovely, pure, admirable, and trustworthy (Philippians 4.8).
May each of us teach and be all that Paul has to say in these verses:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4.29-32
As I pulled into the lot to order some chicken for a friend’s family whose spouse is dying, I saw him standing by the light on the opposite side of the drive in entrance way. He had a cardboard handwritten sign that said:
“HOMELESS not HELPLESS.”
It was atypical.
It was unusual.
It made my heart sing.
Here he was just trying to survive and those words were life bringing and I pray life changing for all who read them including you.
Some may get offended that he is there asking for help, but the mere fact he is asking should pull on our heart strings to bleed compassion.
I got in the socially distancing only option of the day, aka the drive through and ordered extra chicken so I could park the car to bring some to him.
The intersection was a busy one and would be difficult to hand off some food to him driving out. Thus the reason I parked. Plus, I wanted more than a quick drive by hand off. He needed connection and I needed it too. Don’t we all during these trying times.
It is a time in life where many are afraid of others because of what germs they may be carrying. Still…
No excuse not to be kind.
No excuse to not reach out to our fellow man.
No excuse to not connect.
I asked his name as each nameless face has one. Please don’t forget that.
His name is Tom.
Behind every sign there is a name.
A baby born that a mother loved.
A child made perfectly by God above.
No one would will hard times on another, but we live in a sin-sick, fallen world and don’t know the full story behind the sign.
I wanted to pray with him. I wanted to talk more and hear his story. I wanted him to truly feel God’s love and understand His promises like this one👇🏼
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1.9
I wanted to truly live out the gospel when Jesus said:
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13.34
Because of the coronavirus, our interaction was short. With gloved hands, he took the food and said: “God bless you.”
And He does. I know this. Do you?
For anytime we do something to the least of these (Matthew 25.40), we walk away more blessed.
That is the whole plan of serving. We give yet we get so much more. So serve your fellow man with gusto and without seeking anything in return except the happiness that is brought on by giving.
How can you make the world a better place today? Now go do it and..
So many like Tom deserve our time, attention, care, and kindness, but most importantly our prayers.
His name is Tom. Won’t you please pray for him by name today?
*I don’t know who first said these things as they were forwarded on from a friend and then I tweaked them. I always try to give credit where credit is do so if you are the originator, well done, thank you, and do identify yourself so your name can be attached.