Friday, November 10, 2017

An Attitude of Gratitude


AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
By: Cindy Feeman

I love Thanksgiving! It causes me to think about all the special things and people in my life and expressing gratitude for them. If you are like me, you wish this feeling could last all year long (and it really should). Just imagine feeling proud, thankful, and joyful on a regular basis, not just during the Holidays. 

How can we keep an Attitude of Gratitude? We need to make it a habit to express thankfulness ans appreciation in all areas of our life, on a regular basis, for both big and small things, alike.

Author Lewis Howe stated in his book, "Attitude of Gratitude", that "life is better if we developed an attitude of gratitude". He also stated, "if we concentrate on what we have, we will always have more. If we concentrate on what on what we don't have we will never have enough". It is a tough mindset to always have a grateful attitude. Here is a menu of tactic he endorses to help develop this mindset. Just pick a few.

1. Wake up everyday and express to yourself and to God what you are grateful for.

2. Tell whoever you are with at the end of the day 3 things you are thankful for. 

3. Tell someone you're with during the day 3 things you're thankful for at that moment.

4. Read God's word and His promises.

5. Start a gratitude journal... noting things you are thankful for that day. 

6. Acknowledge yourself for what you have done and accomplished this week instead of comparing yourself to others.

7. Acknowledge other people and thank them for inspiring, helping or supporting you.

Each day won't be perfect, but focusing on what we are grateful for tends to wash away feelings of anger and negativity. In addition to improving your mood, recent studies show that feelings and expressing gratitude leads to better physical health as well.

So try adapting some of these tactics above into an overall mindset. It may take a little work, but having an attitude of gratitude is one of the most impact habits for a fulfilling and healthy life.

Here's to Thanksgiving all year round!




Friday, November 3, 2017

The Importance of Being Real With Jesus


The Importance of Being Real With Jesus
 By: Julie Hatfield

             I'm so thankful that God is approachable.  When I'm going through something and feeling like I'm failing in life Jesus always listens.  Don't ever think that He doesn't care about you.  He wants you to be open and honest with Him.  Sometimes I feel like I'm too emotional but honestly it's a blessing.  When you hold things inside it causes stress and health related problems.  Learning to open up an talk about things saves you a lot of problems down the road.
            Does Jesus really care about me??  Yes He does!!  That is why in 1 Peter 5:7 it says:  "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  He want's you to be real and raw with Him.  Whatever is causing you pain or causing you to struggle, open up to Him about it.  Sometimes the only way to get over something is to talk about it and move on from it.  I have learned before I have a conversation with God to plead the blood over my conversation so it will remain private between Him and I, that way the enemy won't know my struggles and weaknesses.  Get away by yourself with God and cry out to Him.  Groaning in the Holy Ghost can speak more to God then any words you can say on your own.

           I use to think that if I allowed myself to get to this point with God that I somehow failed Him or was doing something wrong.  Why is it so hard for us to be so open even with Jesus?  I think we've allowed ourselves to believe that we have to be perfect to live for God.  That's just a lie from the enemy. How is God suppose to lead and guide us if we  haven't completely allowed Him to see us in our most vulnerable moments.  Struggles in life are as common as victories are.  Through my weakness He is made strong.  I'm so glad that no matter if I'm on the mountain top or down in the valley Jesus is always there.  Real communication is not only key in marriage and friendships but it is one of the most important aspects for your relationship with Jesus.  So start being sincerely real with Jesus and He'll start being real with you.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Heaven Will Be Worth It All

"Heaven Will Be Worth It All"
By: Elisha Jane Wells

I've heard it said that a picture is worth a thousand words.
In my opinion, that is certainly true of this painting by John Stevens.

At first glance I was immediately carried to this place where Heaven touched Earth. I could imagine walking up that steep, rocky path and suddenly finding myself at heaven's gates.
I imagined every labored breath and strained muscle as I made the climb. I could feel the stones rolling beneath my feet and the stone bruises on my heels. I felt the stinging burn of scraped knees where I had stumbled on the uneven path. I could feel the rough bite of the bark of a makeshift walking stick on the palm of my hand. I heard the rustle of a breeze in the leaves and smelled the scent of those pines. I saw the beauty of nature and the danger of those loose boulders all in one sweeping glance. I felt the sweat trickle down my face and back as the sun beat down upon me. My shoulders bowed beneath the weight of the pack on my back. I imagined the defeat of feeling that I would never reach the top. That one more step was just too much.

Then, in my mind's eye I imagined raising my head to see the splendor of heaven before me. Suddenly that mountain path didn't seem so steep, the boulders didn't seem so dangerous, and my feet didn't hurt so bad. Suddenly every step, every scraped knee and labored breath were worth it if this was what waited at the end of my climb.

And that was only my reaction to a painting done with human hands.

Along our journey as Christians we face many things, from daily temptations to life shattering situations. We don't always think these things are fair and often imagine them to be more than we can bare. The path is often steep and rocky. Would to God I could say it would always be a smooth, perfectly paved path, but that is not the case. There are many loose boulders we have to face, have to get past, or climb over. We face trials, doubts, and fears. We endure heartache and loss. We go through storms in life we never imagined we would have to face. For every blessing it seems we must also endure a curse. We struggle forward though sometimes it feels like even one more step will be just too much. Sometimes we feel we simply can't go on and in an attempt not to completely collapse we must simply stand.

But allow me a moment to encourage you in your journey.
For one glimpse of Heaven will be worth it all. Imagine the beauty and splendor of this world, of landscapes and overlooks, of sunsets and ocean views. That is a beauty it took God only 6 days to complete. Now imagine what Heaven must be like. He has spent thousands of years preparing that place to be absolutely perfect in all ways for us. The greatest joy of all being that we will be there with Him for all eternity.

So, yes, the journey may seem long.
Yes, the mountain may be steep and rough and we may have to climb over or even dodge a lose boulder or two.
There may be times we can't take a step forward and just have to stand still and take a deep breath.

But in the end, every trial, every temptation, every heartache will be worth it all. When we raise our eyes and realize that at the end of that steep and difficult climb is a view like we could never have imagined. That suddenly laid out before us is an eternity in paradise with our Savior.

So continue to climb. Continue to press.
If you must, take a moment to stand and draw a breath.
But do not back down. Do not give up. Do not give in.
Heaven will be worth it all.



Friday, October 13, 2017

When We See the Harvest

When We See the Harvest
Cindy Feeman

I am a big lover of poetry and I really enjoy it when it speaks to me, and this poem by Susan Nikitenko did just that. It's very timely and it made me say "Ouch and Amen.
I hope you glean something from it.


Friday, September 29, 2017

"URGENCY"


"URGENCY"
Cindy Feeman

With a trembling voice, Laura tried to explain to the security guard at the carnival, "My son Timmy was right beside me; I let go of his hand to pay for the cotton candy... and I think he wandered off... I can't find him anywhere!" "PLEASE HELP ME", she cried. "I just turned away for a second. It happened so fast. Please find him," she pleaded. "He is only 5."

Laura, filled with urgency, was trembling as she ran calling Timmy's name. Her heart pounding and tears flowing down her face, she was determined not to give up. The police were called and searching continued, even carnival patrons and workers volunteered to help search. Everyone going in different directions, frantically trying to locate the "Lost Timmy".

One hour, then two. Laura was filled with fear as she realized that time was ticking... night was approaching. Dread and "What if's" filled her heart and mind. What if Timmy is never found... she was frantic. "Timmy", "Timmy", echoed throughout the Carnival. Why can't we find him??? Dusk was upon them now and Laura collapsed to the ground sobbing, "God please help us find him. I know he's scared. Please God!!!"

Suddenly Laura thought she heard someone yell... "I found him"... she listened again and there it was like music to her ears, "I've got Timmy." With her heart pounding, Laura took off toward the voice. Could it be true? Then she spotted his little blonde head coming toward her holding a policeman's hand. She could tell Timmy had been crying. She ran to him with arms outstretched and relief filling her soul, she swept him up and held him tight. Timmy buried his head in her neck crying and mumbling, "I was lost". Now Laura was sobbing with pure joy, she consoled Timmy, "I'm here, I've been searching for you for along time and I got you now."
HAPPY ENDING, I KNOW.

How many times have we heard stories like this? sometimes they do have happy endings and sometimes the sadly do not. Can you feel the relief of that mother?

Now imagine the heart of Jesus frantically searching for those who are lost. Knocking and knocking on their hearts door. Frantically calling their name. Even more urgent than a mother looking for her lost child. What if Jesus can't reach them in time? What if the prodigal doesn't make it back in time? The urgency of the late mid-night hour rapidly approaching. What if??? He knows some he will reach, but, brokenhearted, some he will not.

Now can you imagine the joy He experiences every time a lost soul is found? With arms outstretched, he scoops them up and takes away the sin, the fear, and heartache. Crying "I was lost but you found me" and Jesus responding, "I've been looking for you for a long time and I've got you now!"
Safe in His loving arms with a promise of eternal life.
He promised life and life more abundantly.

Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest Matthew 11:28

Nothing like being safe in His loving arms!

Friday, September 15, 2017

A Negative Mind Will Never Give You A Positive Life

A Negative Mind Will Never Give You A Positive Life
Sis. Cindy Feeman

Everyone knows at least one "negative person", maybe even a family member.
You know, someone like Winnie the Pooh's friend Eeyore.
(Although I admit he is pretty cute.)
Those that are always sad, stressed, and expecting the worst.
Someone you dread to be around for very long because it can actually bring your spirit down and even make you think negative thoughts.

How can you be sure they are a negative person?
1. They complain.
2. They blame.
3. They defame.

Remember the Hee Haw song?
"Gloom despair and agony on me. Deep dark depression, excessive misery. If it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all. Gloom despair and agony on me."
It's meant to be a funny song but it's sad too because there are so many who have that mentality. It can be debilitating for them and you. The cloud of despair, victimization, and misery.

I'll be the first to admit there are a host of negative things that happen in this world. Seems like something new every day, (Signs of the Times). But how we react to the negative can make all the difference. I have days I worry over things I can't change. There are days I experience fear or loneliness... but I choose not to let any of that take over my heart and mind. God's good always, always outweighs the bad.

Several years back I attended a ladies conference in Newark and the speaker spoke on getting the negative out of your life. I had noticed some negative affects on my spiritual life and I made a decision that night. It was life changing for me. After that weekend I had to eliminate the negative influences in my life.
I know that there will still be some negative things staring me down, but I always try to focus on the scripture Phil. 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.

"I'M POSITIVE IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!"

Friday, September 1, 2017

Blocking Out Distractions


Blocking Out Distractions
Sis. Cindy Feeman

The number one reason for automobile accidents across the nation is "distractions". Whether it is phone usage, eating, changing the radio or even looking back to check on your children... our main focus is lost, if only for a few seconds. But those seconds can be detrimental and even life changing.
The definition of distraction is "something that makes it hard to pay attention".
I remember when my brother Bob was in first grade and my Mom had went to the school for Parent/Teacher conference.... the teacher had told my Mom that Bob was a wonderful and adventurous child and although his grades were good, he was easily distracted. The example was that she had read a story to the children and was asking the children questions about the story and at one question Bob raised his hand and so called on him for the answer. His answer was "Did you know there is a cat laying in the window over there?"
His attention had been drawn away by a distraction.
Distractions can be both external sources and internal sources.
Worry, anxiety, and daydreaming can be forms of distraction too!

As Christians it is even more important to stay focused on our relationship with God. 
That is an everyday pursuit!
Here are 9 ever present distractions in life:

1. Promise of Tomorrow... Joshua Glenn Clark said "We waste so many days waiting for the weekend."

2. The Pursuit of Perfection... Perfection can distract us from moving forward.

3. The Regret of Yesterday... Don't allow regret from the past to negatively distract from opportunity in the present.

4. The Accumulation of Possessions... More is not the answer. More has become a distraction.

5. The Desire of Wealth... Our lives were designed by our Creator for contribution.

6. The Need for Notoriety... Those who live their lives focused on the need to be recognized for it are usually the first ones to take shortcuts.

7. The Pull of Comparison... Comparing yourself to others will always cause you to regret what you are not, rather than enjoy who you are.

8. The Appeal of Pleasure... Pleasure is a terrible teacher. The most significant lessons are born out of pain.

9. The Pleasure of Indifference... Those who choose to live their lives as a victim will always miss their opportunity.

In our busy lives... it is hard to stay focused on the right things... family, God, health, friends, work, etc... but realizing the many ways the enemy can distract us will help us to block those distractions. Think on Godly things, read the word, pray and keep your eyes on the SON. Distractions can wreck a life!