Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, the importance series

the importance of avoiding false teaching

Years ago when our daughters were toddlers, my husband Lon and I took them to the park for a free special event. We arrived early and while the event’s coordinators were setting up bouncy houses and other kid-friendly stations, we milled around the extensive local park. Seeing that they had already started the barbecue with hot dogs, chips, and pop, we stood in line and waited our turn.

When we arrived at the front of the line, one of the men grilling the hot dogs mentioned that he didn’t realize we worked for such-and-such company. Lon and I looked at each other before I asked, “such-and-such company?”

“Yes,” the man said. “This is a private employee picnic for those who work at the company.”

Lon and I quickly escaped the line, our faces red with embarrassment, as we apologized to our disappointed little girls.

Sometimes things are not obvious. It wasn’t obvious to us that day that this was a private picnic, plopped in the middle of the area where the free special event would take place.

And so it is with false teaching. Sometimes it’s not easy to discern when it is plopped in the center of an otherwise Biblical-sounding sermon or podcast. Sometimes otherwise good teaching is interspersed with falsehoods or even heresy. That’s when we need to be on our guard the most.

So how do we spot false teaching and how can we avoid it?

By praying for discernment. There is no doubt that discernment can be difficult, which is why we should pray often that God would give us the wisdom to spot untruths. Some pastors and Bible teachers have a knack for being convincing or saying just enough good stuff to sound legit. Or their method of delivery is so passionate and persuasive that their audience can’t help but believe what they say.

By being in the Word often. We cannot filter the truth from the false without knowing what the Truth is. We can’t know what the Truth is if we never study it. Plan to not only open your Bible, but to study it. Read the commentary. Pray for guidance as you seek to understand.

By seeking godly wisdom from mentors. God has blessed me with three godly mentors in my life. They have spent countless hours discipling me, answering my questions, and guiding me through rough times. It’s important to have at least one trusted mentor who is a mature Christian.

A friend at church told me that he once heard that we all need someone discipling us who is more advanced in their Christian walk than we are, and that we ought to be discipling someone who is a newer Believer. I agree. Mentors can be found at church, in Bible studies, and can be family members, friends, or those with a ministry. One of my favorite things about our church’s Sunday school class is listening to the wisdom shared by several of the attendees —most of whom are mature Christians and are old enough to be at least my parents, if not my grandparents.

By holding everything to the Word of God. My daughters and I have discussed often that everyone has an opinion and that there are a gazillion ideas from all sorts of people in all sorts of media platforms. Pick up a book, turn on the TV, listen to a podcast, chat with a friend, hang out on social media…and you’ll discover a wide range of ideas and “true facts”. The only true Truth Meter we have is the Word of God. We need to hold everything up to it and see whether it aligns.

By becoming a researcher. No matter who is preaching, whether you are sitting in a pew on Sunday morning, listening to a podcast in the comfort of your living room, or watching a pastor on TV or online, take a minute to “fact check” them. A quick internet search can give you some insight as to what the teacher believes, what their statement of faith consists of, and possibly other information that can help you discern whether or not they are on the right track.

Some people will say that if the teaching is mostly good, then there’s nothing wrong if one or two things aren’t. I would respectfully disagree. For one, a little bit of falsity contaminates the entire message. Secondly, for the one leading the teaching, while some listeners might be more discerning that others, some will stumble. The Bible is clear about causing people to stumble.

Case in point: I recently listened to a sermon that was good. Yet, toward the end, the pastor highlighted a story from a popular website that is widely known for its unbiblical teaching. While there are some articles on this website that are “decent”, most of them are not (and I personally do not think it is a website for Bible-believing Christians to take their information from). So to quote this website could quite possibly have caused many in his listening audience to stumble. They may go to this website, trusting that it’s okay because the pastor mentioned a story from it. He may know that not all the stories on it are in alignment with God’s Word and can pick and choose with discernment, but to the average person listening to his sermon, this might not be the case. We have to be careful not to cause others to stumble.

False teaching can be difficult to pinpoint, but with prayer, using the Bible as the only Truth meter, doing some research, and by enlisting the help of godly mentors, we can learn to test everything and hold fast to what is good.


Before you go, check out these other blog posts:

how to build close bonds with your kids

15 scriptural reminders of God’s comfort

Book News & Giveaways

for such a time as this: finding stability in an unstable world

the importance of respectful disagreement

the importance of new beginnings

Movie Monday: The Legend of 5 Mile Cave

tasty gluten-free chicken pot pie

7 ingredients for creating the perfect character

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord

11 ways we become our culture

I recently had a conversation with a young relative who works in an office where profanity, nasty jokes, and bizarre religions abound. Every day as she sits behind her desk and diligently does her work, she struggles with the atmosphere. While she enjoys her job and her boss is easy to work for, the days can wear on her. This young person asked for prayer that she would not become like her culture as it can be tempting at times to just give in and adhere to it. She also asked for prayer that she would be a “light” in an increasingly dark world where she is the only Believer in her office.

My relative’s dilemma is not unique. Most of us work in an atmosphere that is contrary, or even hostile at times, to our Christian faith. It’s not a stretch to one day wake up and realize we’ve become just like the ones we spend most of our time with.

We become like our culture when:

There is no difference between us and the world. It’s unfortunately becoming more difficult to differentiate between Christians and those who are not Christians. 1 Peter 5:8 tells us, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

We “sell out” for the things that matter to the world, but not to God. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Matthew 16:26

We focus on the temporary rather than the eternal. It can be easy to center our attention on things that matter in the “here and now”. It can be tempting to idolize people, fancy cars, money, and things, rather than the One deserving of our worship.

We don’t guard our eyes and hearts against things that could damage our testimony. Social media and the internet, while amazing in so many ways, have opened up a new door to temptation. We must be diligent in praying God would help us to guard our eyes and hearts.

We are afraid to share the Truth of salvation and that it can only be found in Jesus.

We aren’t discerning about who we align ourselves with and/or who we are influenced by. Yes, in order to reach a dying world, we must interact with, be kind to, and befriend those outside of our Christian faith. We are not to live in a bubble. However, when we are closest to those whose behavior is in direct opposition to the Word of God, we may soon find it is their behavior that impacts us, rather than the other way around (1 Corinthians 15:33). In addition, when we don’t practice discernment in the pastors, podcasts, music we listen to, movies we watch, and books we read, we can find ourselves influenced by false theology.

We aren’t mindful of what we share on social media. Does it glorify God? Will what we share cause someone to stumble?

We see the Bible as some in the world see it: an antiquated old book with vintage ideas rather than the Holy Word of God.

We don’t use our sphere of influence for Him. Are we using every opportunity available to us?

When we focus on hopelessness rather than the hope that is found in Him. As Believers, no matter how bad things get in the world around us (and there are some horrific and awful things taking place in our world right now) we have the hope of eternal life. We know it ends well. As such, we can’t live like someone with no hope.

We allow bad habits to manifest into permanency rather than pray for God’s assistance in overcoming them. Bad habits are a challenge and without the Lord’s help and the guidance of fellow Believers, they can be difficult, if not impossible to overcome.

In general, we become our culture when we conform to that culture.

How do we combat becoming like our culture?

Stay steadfast in prayer.

Surround ourselves with Bible-based Believers.

Pray continually for God’s protection (Ephesians 6:10-18) and pray for the protection of fellow Believers.

Keep our focus on Jesus.

Spend time in His Word each day.

Be in this world, but not of it. We reside here, but we needn’t subscribe to the culture’s morals and concepts.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

seeing the potential

the power of prayer: surviving Papa’s driving

what to do when it’s difficult to love others

is Forgotten Memories the book for you?

conquering the joy zappers of life

how to start a sisters in Christ group

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Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, the importance series

the importance of new beginnings

new beginnings

At the beginning of every New Year, many make resolutions that they aim to keep throughout the year. Decisions to make them healthier, fitter, more organized, etc.

In the classic 80s song New Attitude, Patti LaBelle sings of starting a new beginning with a new attitude “from [her] head to [her] shoes.” Every time I hear that song, it brings to mind a crabby lady in need of a personality overhaul.

But what about a new beginning in Christ?

At any time of the year?

Paul in the Bible received a new beginning – a “start over”, if you will. A harsh man who made it his life’s goal to persecute Christians, Paul was the furthest thing from one who could be used effectively by God. Wasn’t he?

On the contrary. God used Paul in a mighty way. After Paul’s conversion, he was one of the greatest apostles who ever lived. He endured beatings and spent much time in prison for the sake of the Gospel.

Could you be used for God’s Kingdom?

Probably not if you have a “checkered” past, right? If you’ve done things you’re not proud of, sinned in ways you don’t care to admit, you certainly can’t be used. And definitely, God isn’t going to forgive you for all of those things you did. After all, we’re not talking “minor” sins here.

Again, on the contrary.

God can and will use you, no matter what you have done or who you have been.

We serve a  God who is One of second chances, and third chances, and fourth chances. Jesus took all of our sins, past and present, upon Himself when He went to the Cross. Your new beginning means your dry erase board is wiped clean from all of the junk that once cluttered it.

Ezekiel 36 26 a.png

So how can you have a new beginning?

Commit your life to Him. If you have not made Jesus the Lord and Savior of your life, that is the first step.

After you have made a decision for Christ, you are forgiven. You have a new beginning. You also have eternal life and will spend eternity with Him. Nothing can ever take you from His hand (John 10:28). But it doesn’t stop there. Find a Bible-based church where the pastor digs into the Word and preaches it each week. Find a mature Christian to mentor you in your walk.

Spend time in the Bible. The Old Testament is wonderful, and I would highly recommend reading it, but as a new believer, the best place to start is in the New Testament in the Book of John.

Turn your eyes toward Him. Listen and watch things that aren’t contrary to your new faith.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you (James 4:8).

This year, spend time in prayer to dedicate your life to a new beginning for Christ. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 tells us, “the old is gone, the new is here.” And that is definitely something to celebrate!

2 Corinthians 5 17 real


Before you go, check out these other posts:

the importance of gratitude

book news and giveaways

the importance of influence

the importance of avoiding the gossip trap

11 verses about God’s unfailing love

Movie Monday: Where Love Found Me

Posted in Christmas, devotionals, the importance series

the importance of Christmas

The importance of Christmas

One of my favorite modern Christmas songs is This is Christmas by the Christian band, Kutless.  The words in the chorus are thought-provoking and profound:

What is Christmas?
If there never was a Savior wrapped in a manger
What is Christmas without Christ?

Indeed. What if a Baby, who would grow to be the Savior of mankind, was never born?

nativity scene 2.jpg

For one, we would definitely not have the Christmas holiday. There would be nothing to celebrate.

I love the whole idea of Christmas. The day after Thanksgiving, my husband gets a calorie-burning workout hauling the numerous bins of decorations from our Christmas closet up the stairs. He then heads outside to set up “Wally and Eva,” our two laser light devices that shine brightly all over the front of our house and garage.

There is joy in shopping for presents for my family and mailing packages to my extended family in several different states. The delight my daughters and I find in baking delicious goodies for our neighbors and close friends and delivering them a few weeks in advance is an event we look forward to each year.

Christmas chex 2 (2).png

And don’t even get me started on Christmas music. Let’s just say my Christmas playlist somehow mysteriously (or not so mysteriously) found its way into playing more than a few days before Thanksgiving. Nope, I just couldn’t wait. And I seemed to run even farther and faster on the treadmill while listening to that Christmas playlist.

All of those things in and of themselves are fine. It’s when we replace the real meaning of Christmas with temporary things—and put our focus solely on those things—that we find ourselves in error.

Anything can become an idol—anything that we make more important than God. Can Christmas presents, decorations, food, tinsel, and laser lights become idols?

Absolutely.

Especially presents.

Or add in the busyness of this time of year. The pressure to live up to expectations to create the holiday a certain way for others, as well as ourselves, can become a stress-fest.

Or the debt that we manage to accumulate while finding all those perfect presents for everyone on our gift list.

Do we even remember—and take time to realize—that the perfect present is right before us? The gift of eternal life for those of us who have placed our faith in Christ. Something that will far outlast anything in our temporary world.

So I’m reminding myself this year that it is all about the Savior who was born in the manger. It is all about that Baby who was born on earth and grew to be a man and would give His life for all mankind. A brutal death with the sins of the world on His back, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice.

For me.

For you.

For us all.

Isaiah 9 6

This holiday season, let’s make Christ the ultimate reason we celebrate.  Let’s place Him in His rightful place of importance. Ahead of the trees, the food, the presents, the Christmas music, and the laser lights.

And let’s do more than celebrate Him. Let’s show our gratitude for what He has done for us. Not just on December 25, but on every day of the year.


From our family to yours…Merry Christmas!

Other blog posts on this blog you may be interested in reading:

8 great Christmas gift ideas for wives

5 things a man should never buy his wife for Christmas

Thankful for the small things…

All things Christmas: favorite songs of the season

14 things for girls to consider before dating

15 verses for strength in challenging times

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, making a difference

are you a joy giver or a joy stealer?

Have you ever been in a group of people when someone walks in and the entire mood of the room changes whether for the better or the worse?

Have you ever had a difficult day and someone crosses your path and makes it better? Or, alternatively, makes it worse?

How can we be joy givers rather than joy stealers?

Be on the lookout for those we can encourage.

Show gratitude.

Keep our focus on Jesus and spend ample time in His Word, which helps us keep our priorities, and therefore our attitude, straight.

Do everything without grumbling and complaining (Philippians 2:14).

Think of others as more highly than ourselves.

Assist someone in need.

Make it a goal to make someone’s day better. This can be someone random such as the grocery store clerk or someone you know and love.

Bear another’s burdens.

We’ve all been joy stealers a time or two, crabby because of a bad day or reacting harshly when we should have shown grace. But we should strive not to make it a habit. Rather, with His help, we can speak into people’s lives and be joy givers instead of joy stealers. Joy givers who realize that our joy is not from happy circumstances, but because of the hope we have in Him.

Posted in devotionals, family/marriage, for the family, Growing in the Lord, making a difference, top posts

10 encouraging blog post excerpts from the past 10 months

It’s hard to believe it’s already October. It seems this year has gone faster than any year in recent memory.

Below, in no particular order, are 10 encouraging blog post excerpts from the past 10 months. To read the post in its entirety, click on the “read more here…” at the bottom of the excerpt.

Which one did you find to be most encouraging?

5 things moms need

Being a mom is the best, but sometimes hardest job.

We yearn to make a difference in the lives of our children. To be the best mom we can be. We love our children with all that we are and strive to bring honor and glory to God in the way we raise them.

But motherhood can be a challenge, too. The baby who doesn’t sleep through the night. The temper tantrums of a toddler. The drama of junior high. The teenage years with all of the frightening things kids have to deal with in today’s modern world.

No wonder we moms can become worn out and tired. I look back at the photos from when my daughters were little, and my eyes are almost consistently closed in those pictures. I obviously tried to catch a wink of sleep any time I could get it.

So what can a mom do? How can she refresh and rejuvenate? What things do moms seriously need in the best, but hardest years of our lives?

Read more here…

how to be kinder in 2022

It’s hard to believe how fast this year is going. It wasn’t that long ago that we welcomed in a new year. And when a new year arrives, we make resolutions. Lose weight. Exercise more. Eat healthier. Stick to a budget. Declutter.

These are all excellent resolutions, but what if this year, we resolved to be kinder? More giving? More gracious? Less impatient? Not so quick-on-the-draw to find fault in someone who doesn’t see eye to eye with us? Less inclined to make others feel they have to align with our standards if we’re going to like them.

What if this year we made it a goal to be kinder? Here are 11 ways to do just that.

Read more here…

9 ways to show your kids you love them

When I first became a mom, I was shocked to discover the realization that God loved my children even more than I did. As much as I loved them—He loved them even more!

Of course, we, as parents, tell our children we love them, but how can we put actions to those words? Here are nine suggestions to show your kids how much they mean to you.

Read more here…

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

In a world of uncertainty, fickleness, and chaos, there is one thing we can always rely on…God’s enduring love. It is everlasting, true, and unending. Others may walk away, betray us, let us down when we need them most, but our Lord’s love will remain ever steadfast.

Below are 10 reminders of God’s enduring love.

Read more here…

10 ways to encourage others

In a world of struggles and disappointments, pain and setbacks, one of the most important things we can do for others is encourage them. Below are 10 ways to do just that.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “encouragement” as “something that makes someone more determined, hopeful, or confident.” In 1 Thessalonians 5:11, the Bible tells us, Therefore encourage one another and build one another up.

What are some simple ways we can encourage others?

Read more here…

conquering the joy zappers of life

All we have to do is live in the world for a day and it becomes evident there are joy zappers. We ourselves, other people, and even things that attempt to, while intentionally or inadvertently, steal our happiness seem to lurk around every corner.

Perhaps you recognize some of these joy zappers:

Illness. Ranking toward the top of joy zappers is illness. According to the National Health Council, “About half of all adults have a chronic condition”. Chronic illness, chronic pain, and chronic disease are tough and can feel unmanageable, frightful, and depressing.

Mean people. Mean people are akin to weeds in a garden of flowers. It can be beyond difficult at times to react in a God-glorifying manner with “weedy” folks.

Read more here…

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

We live in a crazy world. Inflation is soaring, gas prices, groceries, and property taxes are all increasing. Violence is more prevalent. Things we never had to deal with as children are being thrust upon our own kids. The world is looking darker and darker everyday.

How can we persevere through these challenging times in our nation’s history?

Read more here…

are you an encourager or a discourager?

On the online thesaurus, there are over 50 synonyms for “encourage”. Words such as support, inspire, enliven, revitalize, and strengthen are just a few on the lengthy list. It seems a simple thing to, yet why is it often easier for us to discourage someone rather than encourage them?

Make no mistake, our words are powerful. But just how powerful?

There’s a quote that states “Words are powerful. Use them wisely.” They can either build someone up or tear them down.

Below are eight ways we can be encouragers.

Read more here…

14 things for girls to consider before dating

As a mom of daughters, we’ve had many great discussions about things to consider before they choose to date someone.

Everyone will have their own personal likes/dislikes. For example, my girls have mentioned they would never date someone who has a man bun, wears skinny jeans, or has body piercings.

While hair, clothing styles, and body piercings are all a matter of preference, some things are non-negotiable, and while we need to remember no one is perfect, being aware of the following attributes (or lack thereof) will help you make a more informed choice before you choose to date someone.

Below are 14 things to consider before dating that cute guy.

Read more here…

the importance of living out your faith

A friend recently told me a very inspiring story. When she first moved across the country for a new job, Lynn wasn’t sure what to expect in her new town. Her first Sunday there, she headed to a church, hoping to fellowship with like-minded believers and find a church home in the process.

No one welcomed her. No one said “hi.” No one even acknowledged her presence. And this was a small church.

Throughout the week, Lynn visited a local business. A woman who worked there invited Lynn to her church. “And I’ll be waiting by the front door for you so I can show you around,” she told Lynn.

Sure enough the woman was there. She showed Lynn around the church, introduced her to others, and encouraged her to come back the following week.

Lynn did.

When Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer a short time later, the congregants of her new church drove her to her chemo appointments 95 miles each way, brought her meals, mowed her yard, and prayed with and for her. All with only knowing her a short amount of time.

Read more here…

Thank you for joining me today. Have a blessed rest of your week!

Before you go, check out these other posts.

Movie Monday: Sabina

tools to help your child succeed in life

Saturday Spotlight: Iron

how to become an undercover prayer warrior

31 songs to encourage you in difficult times

Forgotten Memories Blog Tour: Is Forgotten Memories the book for you?

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, higher purpose, the importance series

the importance of living out your faith

the importance of living out your faith

A friend recently told me a very inspiring story. When she first moved across the country for a new job, Lynn wasn’t sure what to expect in her new town. Her first Sunday there, she headed to a church, hoping to fellowship with like-minded believers and find a church home in the process.

No one welcomed her. No one said “hi.” No one even acknowledged her presence. And this was a small church.

Throughout the week, Lynn visited a local business. A woman who worked there invited Lynn to her church. “And I’ll be waiting by the front door for you so I can show you around,” she told Lynn.

Sure enough the woman was there. She showed Lynn around the church, introduced her to others, and encouraged her to come back the following week.

Lynn did.

When Lynn was diagnosed with breast cancer a short time later, the congregants of her new church drove her to her chemo appointments 95 miles each way, brought her meals, mowed her yard, and prayed with and for her. All with only knowing her a short amount of time.

She told me with tears in her eyes that these precious brothers and sisters in Christ had become her family.

Another friend, Sarah, in another town recently went through a nasty and unwanted divorce. Betrayed, broken, and hurt by the man she still loved, she stumbled into the church she had attended with her husband for the past year, sobbing and asking if someone would please pray with her. The secretary looked perplexed and called for one of the elders in the building. Rather than praying for her, he suggested she find a divorce support group, then ushered her out of the church.

Sarah has yet to find a new church home.

A blog post on how churches should welcome and support fellow believers?

On the contrary. Rather, my blog post is one about how important it is to live out our faith.

We, as Christians, have been given an important responsibility. To love Jesus and to love His church and to share the Gospel with nonbelievers.

Here are some suggestions on how we might better live out our faith.

Be the light. Sure, we hear this phrase often. But what does it mean to be the light? Consider the following verses:

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” ~ Matthew 5:14-16

“For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” ~ Ephesians 5:8

Ephesians 5 8

We are to stand out from the rest of the crowd. We are to show our light and be able to give an answer for the hope that lies within us (1 Peter 3:15). We aren’t to blend in and look like the world, but to look like one of His. Yes, there truly is a difference between us and someone who doesn’t proclaim Christ.

Definitely a tall order in a world that puts a high emphasis on things that are anti-Christian.

Be a doer, not just a talker. When we say we will pray for someone, we need to take that promise seriously and not just say it, but follow through and do so. Prayer is important and effective. People are hurting and struggling with a multitude of issues, from grief to serious illness; from job loss to homelessness; from addiction to the difficult road to recovery.

Reach out to those around you. Our world moves at a dizzying pace. We are ever consumed with busyness and a focus on our ourselves. What if we instead took the time to care for those less fortunate? To help someone in need of help? To lend a listening ear? To ask someone how we can serve them, and then offer to follow through with their request? To be a giver rather than a taker? Jesus consistently reached out to the less fortunate. He loved others with genuine passion. When we serve others, we serve Him. (Matthew 25:40-45).

In today’s world, it’s not always “popular” to be a Christian. We are encouraged to dim our lights or even put them out completely. Rather than follow the world’s demands, let’s  vow to live out our faith daily with the confidence that we are called to a higher purpose and live for Someone greater than anyone on earth.

As someone once said, “You may be the only Jesus some people see.”

it is impossible to

Check out these other blog posts:

the importance of perseverance

the importance of authenticity

Movie Monday: Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Road Less Traveled

Book News/Giveaways

surviving shingles – part 1

how to survive in an out-of-control world

how to be a Godly leader

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, making a difference, Miscellanous how-to

How to be a Godly Leader

We are all leaders. Whether we’re moms, dads, grandparents, older siblings, pastors, Bible study leaders, bosses, supervisors, teachers, coaches, mentors, or political figureheads.

No matter what our role, how can we be Godly leaders?

Seek to serve God in your leadership. When we make the mistake of serving man and being a people-pleaser in our role of leadership, it never ends well. Instead, remember there is only One to whom we must please.

Find a Godly mentor. Find someone who is mature in their faith and who can set an example for what it means to serve the Lord and serve others. Find someone who encourages questions.

Invest in others. As a Godly leader, we need to invest in the lives of those we lead. Find out what matters to them. What their concerns are.

Be different. One of the ways we, as Godly leaders can be “different” is to stand out. Many of us work in an atmosphere that includes those who don’t yet know the Lord. How can we show them we are not like the “world”? How can we set ourselves apart?

Lead by example.

Show grace. Everyone makes mistakes and has regrets. By showing grace to others, we mimic the grace God shows us.

Look for the potential in others. One of the things I admire about my husband, who is a supervisor at his place of employment, is that he looks for the potential in others. If one person might excel at a position they are not yet working in, Lon will encourage them to pursue that position. A Godly leader wants what’s best for others and will expound on their strengths.

Help those whom you lead to accomplish their goals. A Godly leader cares about the goals of others and doesn’t attempt to hinder them.

Don’t take others for granted. Show gratitude and humility.

Be a team player. No matter what leader position we are in, we can strive to work together, rather than against each other. Unfortunately in group settings, whether it be jobs, churches, or schools, we sometimes don’t see our role as that of being one unit with the same goal—to do best the task set before us. Also, we shouldn’t be afraid to get into the trenches and join those we lead. By being a team player, everyone benefits.

Don’t expect those who aren’t Believers to be Godly.

Being a Godly leader can have its challenges. Daily prayer for God’s guidance, His wisdom, and to see others the way He does, can help us to make a difference to those whom we are placed in a position of leadership over.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

serving unexpectedly

do you stand out?

6 suggestions for getting through the rough times in life

Ellis Creek happenings and a character quiz

10 Bible verses to start your day

the importance of healthy living

reading suggestions for kids of all ages

how to start a sisters in Christ group

the importance of respectful disagreement


This post was linked up to and shared on the Sweet Tea & Friends September Link-up and https://www.instaencouragements.com/blog

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord

seeing the potential

I recently wandered into the garden section of our local grocery store. On a large rack with wheels were several drooping and withered flowers. “They’re on clearance,” the clerk told me.

I could see why.

But the daisies on the rack beckoned me to put them in the cart and attempt to rehab them. Give them a chance to perk up a bit.

I’ve never been one to give up on plants. The $5 spruce tree I purchased over a decade ago has grown into a tall and lovely tree. One could never tell the beautiful aspen was once a wilting $10 special.

Indeed, rehabbing wilting and withered plants in need of a good home has long been a passion of mine.

As I planted the half-dead daisies, I imagined their potential as part of a “daisy farm”. Lovely and vibrant white petals with yellow centers smiling toward the heavens. Green stems and leaves would replace the yellowed withered ones.

Over the next few weeks, I clipped off the dead parts, watered them, and kept the weeds from overtaking them. I saw little to no progress, but I wouldn’t give up. These flowers had the potential to be something beautiful.

Today when I did my daily watering, I noticed something both exciting and surprising.

A new daisy flower and a bud waiting to bloom on one of the plants.

I am grateful God sees the potential in us. That we are redeemable. That we aren’t hopeless. That He has a plan for our lives.

He tenderly and patiently nurtures us in our growth when we surrender our lives to Him. He patiently grows us as we strive to become more and more like Jesus. Not once does He throw His hands in the air and utter a “never mind”.

I’m grateful He doesn’t give up on us when we make mistakes, fail, don’t place Him in His proper place in our lives, or live like we’ve forgotten Jesus’ sacrifice for us. I’m humbled He cares for us and gently prunes us so we can better grow in Him.


Before you go, check out these other posts:

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

leaving a godly legacy

do you stand out?

the top 10 blog posts of 2021

10 ways to encourage others

how to start a sisters in Christ group

how to build close bonds with your kids

a huge thank you to readers

Posted in devotionals, Growing in the Lord, Miscellanous how-to

10 ways to persevere through these challenging times

10 ways to persevere

We live in a crazy world. Inflation is soaring, gas prices, groceries, and property taxes are all increasing. Violence is more prevalent. Things we never had to deal with as children are being thrust upon our own kids. The world is looking darker and darker everyday.

How can we persevere through these challenging times in our nation’s history?

*Decide who and/or what is steering you. Where is your focus? The second we take our eyes off our Savior, we’re prone to succumb to fear, anxiety, worry, and depression over the current situation. If our focus is on the worldly events, suddenly things seem impossible to overcome. Instead, let’s fix our eyes on the author and the perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). Let Jesus steer your life. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5).

Hebrews 13 5

*Soldier On. There is a certain challenging part of our family’s bike ride course that I especially love. Our family has nicknamed it “Hairpin Curve.” It’s a sharp curve, then a downhill sprint, followed by a steep uphill climb. My goal is to make it to the top of this steep hill while still in the saddle. Nine times out of ten, I achieve that goal. Heart pounding, quads burning, I keep my focus on what lies in front of me at the top of that hill (a quick break before I decide to tackle the whole thing again!) If I give up, my wheels will spin on the loose gravel, rendering me helpless to push through to the top without climbing off my bike.

Even when times seem bleak, we must soldier on. We can’t give up. Remember that God goes before us and stays with us the entire time. For those of us in Christ, it ends well, even if the “getting there” can be arduous at times.

*Reach out. This is a difficult time for many. Some people are struggling with keeping their jobs and paying the bills. Still others are facing serious health issues such as cancer. Reach out and check on family, friends, the people you know from church, work, and social media. Let them know you care.

*Improvise. When he was little, my brother devised a way to do his chore of hauling fireplace logs to the house. Rather than carry the logs in his arms to the house, he instead built a “rack” for the back of his on his three-wheeled, low to the ground, pedal-powered Big Wheel motorcycle toy. He even figured out a way to do “spin outs” on our driveway (with impressive skid marks) without losing his load. My brother may not have especially enjoyed the chore of hauling logs, but with his improvisation, suddenly it no longer felt like a chore.

Sometimes improvising means making a new budget and sticking to it. Sometimes it means carpooling with others or making less trips to town to save on gas. Other times it means turning off the TV or stepping away from social media for a time to recharge.

*Have gratitude. We can certainly find a million and five things to complain about in times like these. Instead, let’s focus on being grateful. How about making a Gratitude Journal? Everyday, add a few more things you are thankful for. Here are some ideas for starters:

Can you breathe? Do you have someone who cares about you? Do you have a loving spouse? Great kids? Do you have food? Clean water to drink? Are you healthy? Can your eyes behold the beauty of the blooming trees or the falling snow? Do you have a voice that can encourage others? Make a list of all the things, from “small” to big for which you are grateful. It won’t take long to see that the thankfulness outweighs the complaints.

*Intercede for others. We have been given a wonderful opportunity to be able to intercede for others through prayer. Of course, praying for our loved ones and friends is important. But how about even praying for random people? (Any neighborhood prayer walkers among us?)

*Keep your mind and body active. It’s easy to sit around all day and lament the happenings of the world around us. Instead, let’s keep our mind and body active. Put together a puzzle, play board games, do crossword puzzles, and even coloring has made a comeback in recent years.

In addition, focus on getting at least a half hour of physical exercise every day (please check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program). How about a walk around the block? Load up your kiddo in the baby jogger and head to the park for a walk before stopping at the playground. Or join a class at your local gym or senior center.

*Set goals and plans for each day. Keep a list of your goals for each day and cross them off as you tackle them.

*Find the funny. Reminisce with your family or friends (this can be done in person if you live with or near your family, via Skype, phone calls, instant messaging, or texts) of all the funny times you remember. Watch a humorous movie or short video.

*Spend time with Him. Most importantly, spend time with the Lord. Get to know Him. Read His Word. Rekindle your relationship with Him. Rediscover the One who gave His very life for you.

Philippians 4 4 (2)

Before you go, check out these other posts:

are you an encourager or a discourager?

10 reminders of God’s enduring love

putting minor inconveniences into perspective

14 items to include in a DIY emergency bin

resting in the arms of an unchanging God

13th blogoversary celebration and giveaway

13 verses for the fearful heart