The sky is always blue beyond the clouds. There is always hope and encouragement here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Attitude Adjustment by Pat Pennington


The work environment in some companies can be brutal.  Especially if you always have to deal with constant pressure from deadlines, difficult co-workers, difficult company policies and procedures. Constant pressures and problems at work can wear you down and beat you up mentally and over time you can develop a bad attitude. Of course you can also develop a bad attitude at home or at church for the same reasons.

But attitude is everything; it can lift you up or bring you down. It is also one of the keys to success.

Attitude is critical because it influences your course of action. If your attitude is negative, your words and behavior will be too. There is a difference in being a realist about negative circumstances, and living with a chronic bad attitude. You would be na├»ve if you ignore warning signs of trouble, and carry on oblivious to the problems that you must deal with. But still there are people in this world that are always unhappy with their job, always complaining about their job, always finding fault and criticizing their managers and co-workers. It seems as though you can never please them. They work and live with a chronic bad attitude. Don’t be them and don’t start becoming like them.
Do not allow another person's bad attitude to influence yours. Be the attitude influencer instead. Greet a frown with a smile, crush criticism with affirmation, and listen patiently but always respond with positive comments and/or solutions. A positive attitude will eventually outlast and overpower a negative one. Do not engage or debate with those who thrive on negativity. You will find that the people who thrive on negativity are usually broken with hurt, anger, guilt, worry and insecurity. So stay positive and encourage them but also if possible point them or lead them to an attitude adjustment.  Be the positive example for them to model.

But keep in mind that each day, your own attitude gets knocked around and abused by work and life. If left unattended, your attitude will drift into wrong thinking, harsh words, and bad behavior. Self-pity and anger can begin to replace your positive mind set. But with just a little bit of daily tweaking, your attitude can stay positive. And sometimes attitudes need to be adjusted moment by moment.

This is why you need a daily attitude alignment. I reinforce my attitude every morning before I start my work day by reading scripture. Find what would work for you.

Last thought, slow down and pray when you feel your attitude eroding. When you’re in the middle of a bad attitude, don’t make important decisions; the time isn’t right for that. You will regret every decision you make during a time of emotional upheaval. Be patient, and wait until your anger and depression is back under your control and your attitude is objective. Anyone can be negative; so don’t be anyone, be different.

Scripture tells us that we should have the same attitude as God—and that’s not a bad attitude to have.

Your attitude is rooted in who you are and how you think and positive attitudes lead to rich and robust relationships.
 An attitude molded by God is infectious and transforming. Allow Him to change yours. The Bible says in Philippians 2:5 “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus…” 
To be successful keep your attitude positive no matter what happens at work or in life.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

What do you "have?"

"Mom, do you have a hot water bottle?"
"Where is it?"
"I have no idea, but I have one."

"Honey, Where is the hole saw bit for my drill?"
"I don't know."
"Could you help me find it? I know I have one."

"Rhonda, do you have a bobby pin?"
"No, I don't."
Later... From my young nephew, "Noni, what's a bobby pin?"

"Are you ready to go?"
"Yep, I have my purse, my keys and my phone."
"Then we are ready."

What is it that you consider important enough to "have" in your life? What is it that goes with you everywhere you go? 
And just because you think you have it, or once had it, or know what it is, DOES NOT mean that you have it.
If you "have" something, it is in your possession, it is on you, it is with you.
Again, what do you consider important enough to have in your life?

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5:12 NIV)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The mountain View

I love the mountains. They are so magnificent. 
My husband and I just had a few runs that kept us out west. We were in Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. The Rocky Mountains are there; Although the mountains look different in Colorado than they do in New Mexico. But the majesty is there just the same.
From the bottom of the mountain you are in awe, the sheer size of it, rising up, out of nowhere. But when you are on top, awe doesn't seem like a big enough word. 
The height and vision seem to put the view into perspective. You see the layout of the land, you can see the road ahead. You see where you are going.
Once you start the drive down however, you only see part way. You can't see past the curves or over the knoll. The layout hasn't changed, but your perspective of it has.
Maybe I need to climb a spiritual mountain today. Maybe I need to see the vision, the plan, the path that God has laid out before me, in it's whole picture. 
Sometimes I forget that God does have a plan, a vision, a roadmap for my life. I am too busy trying to guess what's around the next curve or over the knoll. I worry about the potholes. I sometimes forget that there is a bigger perspective, a wonder of a view, that is my life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Silent battle

With the suicide of Robin Williams The illness of Depression has been thrown into the spotlight. As one who suffers from this affliction I know firsthand how excruciatingly desperate one can feel.
Depression is a complete and total lack of Joy. 
When in the midst of depression there is not a speck of joy, not a speck of hope. Believe me, I have been there.
I still knew and remembered all my teaching and learning in my faith and yet, somehow,, someway, didn't grasp it.
Besides the medication that  helps with the very real chemical imbalance in the brain, you need people who won't judge, people who won't criticize, people who won't try to "fix" you. You just need one, quiet, loving person with you at ALL times. 
NEVER EVER EVER leave a severely depressed person alone. NEVER!!!! I cannot stress that enough. They feel alone already, even if in a crowded room. 
And even if they LOOK normal, and they mostly will, they aren't feeling normal inside.
Depression and anxiety cause illogical thoughts to become REAL in the mind of a person. They are actually CONVINCED that what they think is real. You WILL NOT be able to change their mind.
It is so very frightening for all involved. And yes, one person with true clinical depression and or anxiety will affect the entire family.
But it doesn't come on rapidly, no, it slowly, very slowly, builds up in the person and then escalates quickly.
If you know someone who suffers with this, pay attention to their behavior. Do not allow this person to become a recluse.do not allow them to isolate. Be an encourager to them. We need each other. 
I could speak volumes on this subject. I have been there standing on the edge. I have been there. 
I am not excusing the behavior and bad choices of depressed people, not in any way, I just understand the desperation. 
That is the message, the despair. That is the battle. We need to LISTEN to people. We need to be there for them and for each other.

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called "Today," so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:13 NASB)

Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB)

Not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NASB)

We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. (1 Thessalonians 5:14 NASB)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

10 things Jesus never said

10 things Jesus NEVER said

10. This is a cross you must bear alone.
      We all have burdens and most, if not all of us, have that one thing, that "thorn in the       flesh" that pricks at us constantly. We are told in Matthew 16:24 to Take up our cross and follow Him. But, we are also told in Galatians 6:2, to bear one another's burdens.
We are a community of believers. We are the church. You need not be alone.

9. I have given up on you.
     In this era of social media it is easy to just "delete" people that annoy us. And after dealing with difficult people we can just avoid being anywhere near them if we choose. But Jesus never said these words and He doesn't ever give up on us. In fact We are told in Hebrews 13:5 that He will never leave us nor forsake us. He will not give up on us because He doesn't want any of us to perish.

8. You missed My will for your life.
     All through scripture we are instructed to walk in righteousness and to seek God's will, yet the choice is always ours. And we don't always choose wisely. Very often we may even string together many bad choices.
But God wants us to turn to Him. And when we do, He is waiting for us with outstretched, loving arms to embrace us.

7. You don't have to forgive someone who really hurt you.
     The whole entire concept of grace and mercy is treating others with the same love and tenderness as God treats us. Grace is giving us what we don't deserve and mercy is not giving us what we do deserve.
For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. (Matthew 6:14, 15 NASB)

6. It's all up to you.
    No, it is all about Jesus. We do have a choice and we can seek our ways and live for ourselves. But that will only make us a slave to our desires with no hope for a better future. Our hope is in The Lord. Jesus is the way.
    Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. (Matthew 16:24 NASB)
    But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 NASB)

5. Everyone should believe and act like you do.
      Jesus tells us Who and What to believe. "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. (John 14:1 NASB) and God makes it plain what He requires,
He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? (Michah 6:8 NASB)
We are in no way perfect or even good. We are each created to bring honor to God. None of us will do that in the same exact manner.

4. It's ok to not love certain people.
If we are Christians, Christ like, then we must strive (painfully try) to love like He did. He loved the least loved as well as the easy to love. Do you?
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8 NASB)
 'Y ou shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:31 NASB)

3. This wouldn't be happening if you were a better Christian.
    All through the Scriptures we are given examples of the trials and sufferings of people. Yes, true some of that was because of their poor choices yet a lot is just the hard knocks of this life. We are told that it won't be easy. We are told to take up our cross. In other words, pick up and drag the very thing that will bring about our death. That cannot be an easy burden. Yet facing and overcoming our challenges will build and strengthen our characters. God is working on us and we will not be complete until He brings us home, so that means pruning, stretching and growing until then.

2. I'm so disappointed in you.
    Wow! Imagine hearing those words directed at you coming from Jesus! 
I am very sure that I do disappoint Him sometimes, probably quite often, if I am truthful. Yet, I am very glad that He doesn't say those words to me. 
Instead, he nudges me under the chin and says, "Try again, Do better this time."
Our relationship with Jesus is a growing process. We learn better and then we do better. If we love Him, we will try to be pleasing to Him.

1. You are too far gone to be saved.
     What on this earth does that mean? 
Jesus came, gave his life, resurrected, and now is preparing a place for us in Heaven. All of that for us sinners. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 NASB) none of us are better than anyone else. 
All of us deserve to die because of our sin. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23 NASB)
Yet God loved us enough to make a way of salvation for us.

Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the one and only Son of God, who came to redeem us from sin?
After hearing and believing what Jesus did on your behalf, are you truly sorry for your sin and want to turn from that and live a changed life?
Are you willing and wanting to tell others about how and why that change came about? Are you bold enough to proclaim Jesus to other people?
Would you be baptized under the water to wash away your sin and have the Holy Spirit come into you, to dwell in you from then on, as a comforter, guide, a convicter of sin, and sealer of your redemption? Romans 6:4-6 explains that our baptism is us dying to sin, being buried (under water) resurrecting (coming up out of the water) and rising to walk in a newness of life. Scripture is very clear that at this point is when and where and how our old self dies and our new life begins. It is also very clear that this is when the Holy Spirit comes to live in us and stay with us. Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NASB)
And then we must continue to walk in this new life every day. When faced with daily decisions we must choose to live according to God's plan and purpose for our life. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB)
It will not be an easy life. We must always strive to never return to the old person that we used to be. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. (Romans 13:14 NASB) Another version reads this way, Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (Romans 13:14 NIV)  Each  day when you get up, you must choose to put Him on as you would get dressed. Clothe yourself, wrap yourself with Christ. Keep Him close to you. 
He loves! He loves each of us and desires for us to live eternally with Him. Choose Him today and everyday.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Figure it out

I am a very analytical person., very philosophical. I like to try to figure things and people. I have a desire to understand what makes things work or not work. I really like to understand why people behave the way that they do.
I like order!
IF.   If something is not in order, I want to know why, figure a solution, and fix it.

The problem with that is.....on what am I basing that law of order? Where do I get MY understanding of what makes something right?
We have biblical standards. We have a law of the land. We have(at least, I hope) a moral standard.
But all in all, I must depend on and rely in MY UNDERSTANDING of how things should be. And my understanding doesn't necessarily mean that I am right.
God knows this. We are told in His word to seek wisdom, His wisdom. We are NOT to trust in our own concepts of what we think to be right.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 NASB)