Why and How I Vote!

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While shopping in Hobby Lobby, this sign made me take a second look. Too funny!

 

I grew up in a home where I never heard anything about politics. I don’t remember much being said at school until I was in Government class in high school. It was all very foreign to me. We did a class vote on who was running for president. I had never heard the names before and I just voted for the name that I liked best. Probably my senior year in high school, I started to have an interest in the political system.

The year that Jim and I got married was the year that President Reagan was shot. It hit me pretty hard while watching the news showing how it happened. Reagan was the first President that I paid attention to and I liked what I saw and heard. He made me feel safe when I listened to him. I felt like he loved our country and his goal was to protect and serve me. I saw humility and a love for people from all walks of life. He spoke with wisdom and care. Notice I didn’t say perfect. I didn’t really think of him being perfect, as I do know, that no one is perfect and never will be.   Since then, I have pretty much compared each President with Ronald Reagan.

I remember working the polls when Reagan ran for his second term. I don’t recall how I came about that at all. I loved getting to see how the system worked. Years later I met a very sweet lady named Iris. I call her my political mentor. She taught me how to get involved and get behind the issues that were important to me. What I used to say is “I vote for the person. It doesn’t matter if they are Democrat or Republican.” I began reading more and started researching issues that were important to me. I read the Democrat Party Platform, (click here to read) and the Republican Party Platform (click here to read.) I then decided it was the Republican Party that I would stand with since my beliefs lined up more with them. I am a Republican.

By the way, there are several other political parties and you can research them to see what they stand for.

In my teaching from Iris, I learned how to get involved in my Precinct Meetings, County Conventions and I even had the honor of being elected to attend two State Conventions. I loved the process and seeing how our political process works. Yes, I’ve been disappointed in individuals and their actions and have also been very proud and thankful for others.

Reminder: No one is perfect and no one will ever believe or be just like me. That is when wisdom and discernment have to kick in.

At this time, we are preparing for the 2016 election. I will be watching and reading after each candidate in both the Republican and Democrat Party. My hope is that each candidate will share their thoughts, dreams, visions and goals for America in an honest way. I don’t need for them to tell me what the other person is doing because I can figure that out. I want to hear what they think and believe in. Here are just a few things on my list for the President and other elected officials that are wanting my vote:

*Tell me how you will love, honor, protect and guide The United States of America.

*Tell me your goals and dreams for The United States of America.

*Tell me how you will protect my family from the evil in the world.

*Tell me how you will live your life in way that would be honorable to the citizens of the country you represent.

When I make my choice, I will get behind them, support them and share their vision with others without tearing other candidates down.   I know from experience that is very hard to do sometimes when we are passionate about certain issues.

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In this day of twenty-four hour news channels and with the social media posts (as I’m doing) along with the common practice of shouting loudly to be heard, we have to be wise. Here is the way that I keep my mind straight in all of this:

*Read all platforms. Know what and why I believe what I do and be confident in my belief.

*Read the Constitution.

*Study all the candidates.

*Ask God for wisdom and guidance.

*Make sure I’m registered to vote.

*Get involved in my local Precinct and County.

*Know who my local elected officials are.

*Know who my national elected officials are.

*Read voter guides.

*Learn how to have discussions without being hateful and rude.

*We all have issues that are important to us. Be knowledgeable in these issues and be diligent in speaking with elected officials about my concerns.

*Pray for America!

*Pray for our elected officials, regardless of what platform they stand on.

See you at the polls!

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The Declare Conference – Day 3 (last day)

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What an amazing time I’ve had. So much inspiration! We all need a time to get away from the everyday and focus on who God is and do a check up on our lives to make sure we are walking as close to Him as possible. Being around positive and uplifting people is one of the best things ever in this crazy world. The Declare Conference leaders are an incredible example of women who love the Lord with all their hearts and want to see others in that beautiful place, too! I encourage you to visit their blogs:

Eryn

Heather

Kristen

Michelle Acker

Our keynote speaker for our last day was, Carri Trotter. If you want to be around someone who is excited about God and passionate about His Word and loves life, you will want to get to know Carrie. She challenged us to aim our arrow at our goal and to go for it. Don’t talk about it, don’t think about it…..just GO! Yes, that was for me!

For our morning session, Kristen Kill, a blogger from New York City, spoke on using your blog to build relationships through monetizing and writing sponsor posts. I love her sweet spirit.

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Each day during our lunch break, we would listen to a speaker share about their ministry.  On this last day, Ashley Linne, shared on a topic from her book, Inseparable. She also gave us each a copy of her book. Now that was sweet!

Next on the agenda, we met with our Mastermind Group. Our assignment was to go to each of our blogs and critique and share possible ways to make it better. The ladies in my group were very wise. I was impressed with the knowledge they all shared with each other. I decided that Mastermind Groups are a good thing!

Our afternoon workshop was with Denise J. Hughes. Her topic was, Ten Steps to Take Your Writing to the Next Level. Denise is a professor at a college in California. I wish you could have been there.  Trust me, it was excellent.

Chrystal Evans Hurst closed the conference out with the subject of, Interruptions! Another great message to ponder on! I’m telling you, you should have been there.

Now to put in practice all the challenges we heard this past week. My head is spinning, but anxious to sharpen my arrow!

Hopefully, I will see you in 2016. Check the Declare site if you are interested in attending!

 

The Declare Conference – Day 2

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Day 2 was another full day at the Declare Conference. Our first speaker for the day was Janelle Knox with MICI Magazine. Janelle is from Australia and her accent was as beautiful as she was. By the way, MICI stands for, Made In Christ’s Image.   We were all intrigued at her testimony of God’s amazing grace.   I hope you will check out her magazine. She also has a magazine for young girls ages 9-16 and a curriculum to teach young girls how to have confidence of their worth as Christ intended.

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Kat Lee was our speaker for a workshop session. Kat is incredible in the area of encouraging bloggers to stay focused and using our blog as a means to share the message of Christ regardless what we write about. *I have several pages of notes from listening to her words of wisdom.

 

Our luncheon was sponsored by an organization called, Attack Poverty. This organization goes into the very poor neighborhoods in our country and sets up learning centers to train the people in the neighborhood in skills to work and give back to their community. Lives are being changed! Be sure to go to the site and read what all they are doing.

 

After lunch we got into Mastermind Groups. I was in a group with seven ladies that I had never met before! Yes, I was a bit nervous sharing with ladies that I don’t know at all. But, these were some very smart and kind ladies. We talked about our goals for our blogs. We have homework and then we meet again tomorrow.

 

Crystal Stine led our next workshop on the subject of, Intentional Social Media. We are a light in a dark world and we can give hope through our social media. Crystal is very motivating and encouraging.

 

Our evening ended with Jan Greenwood. Jan is Director of Women’s Ministry at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas. Jan is a very sincere woman and a very powerful speaker! If you ever have the opportunity to hear Jan speak, you must go.

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What a great day it was.  My head is spinning with all the inspiring words I’ve heard today.  Did I mention all the sweet ladies that I’ve met?  It was like being at an awesome ladies retreat.  God was definitely glorified this week!

 

“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me, the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24 (NIV)

The Declare Conference – Day One

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Last year I attended The Declare Bloggers Conference for the first time and I loved it so much that I registered for this years conference last August!  This year, I brought a sweet friend with me, Rhodema Cargill!  What fun we have had and it is only the end of the first day.   We made it safely to the Cooper Hotel Conference Center and Spa.  The hotel is part of the Cooper Aerobics and Fitness Center.  I knew something was up as in being a health and fitness facility when I spotted the complimentary vitamin pack in the room.  It is a beautiful hotel in a beautiful section of Dallas.  I would love to stay here again someday.  The staff is very friendly and it is very clean.  Two of my favorite words; clean and friendly!

This morning started off with a complimentary breakfast and then off to our first workshop.  My head was spinning after 3 hours of learning all the latest in the area of Monitizing Your Blog.  Kristen Kill and Emily Thomas were amazing.  I could have listened to them all day!  We took a quick lunch break and ate at the Cedars WoodFire Grill that is located in the Cooper Fitness Center.  Our next workshop was, Graphics and Social Media with Crystal Stine.  What a privilege to be able to learn from Crystal, today!  I’m looking forward to trying to make my own graphics soon!

Tonight was the first keynote with Kris Camealy!  A few highlights from her message are:

*Why do we write or blog?  The answer should be, to bring honor and glory to God!

*Put your dreams/writing on the altar and let God take control.  As in Genesis 22:9 (Abraham/Isaac)

*We are called to make disciples, not fans and followers.

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After a time of music by a brother/sister worship team, we heard from representatives of,  The Seed Company.  You must go to the site!  I’m amazed at what is going on to reach the lost in other countries!

Rhodema and I headed out for dinner after tonights session.  We were looking for BBQ, but ended up at a place called, Ruggeri’s Italian.  It was not only beautiful, but delicious!

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Every time we sat down, we had a gift.  It’s day one and I have a bag full of fun treats!  Everything from macarons, cookies, journals, books, bags, pens, stationary and a scripture poster!  I love prizes!

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Can’t wait for Day 2!

 

Your First Day In Heaven!

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Recently, I was in a local gift shop and as I was checking out, I noticed a stack of books.  The title caught my eye as it said, My First Day In Heaven.  I looked to see who the author was and it was written by, Rita Brown.  I thought, “could that be the Rita Brown I know?”  I went to the back of the book to see if there was an author page and there was her beautiful picture!  I met Rita and her husband many years ago at a political event.  Her husband Dale Brown,was a City Councilman at the time.  Their family has always been an inspiration to the many people they know here and across the country.  When I realized it was the Rita I knew that had written the book, I knew I had to buy it!  I got chill bumps thinking how awesome that was for her to have her book published.

The next day, I set aside a special time to sit down and begin reading, My First Day In Heaven.   I was intrigued from the first page!  I read the entire book in less than an hour.  I only stopped once and that was to go get a tissue to wipe away the tears.

My First Day in Heaven is a scripture-based fictional story.  You will read all about Jenny and her first glimpse of Heaven and seeing all of her loved ones and of course the most special one of all, Jesus!

I hope you are inspired by Rita in this short interview about her adventure in writing, My First Day in Heaven.

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Beverly:  Hi Rita!  I, so loved reading your book.  Can you share a little bit about yourself?

 Rita:  My husband Dale and I are both from California originally. We served as missionaries in Brazil for 4 years, but we have lived in Midland for 43 years. We have 6 married children, 26 grandchildren, and 1 great grandbaby. We have been married 51 years. I spend most of my time attending grandkids’ events or keeping up with birthdays. I have served on the Midland Christian School Board for more than 20 years. I love football, baseball, collecting recipes, traveling with my husband, teaching Bible, attending grandkids’ events, and coaching young women in childbirth.:)

Beverly:  I love the story of how you came to write your book.  Can you tell the readers a bit of that story?

Rita: I originally wrote My First Day in Heaven about 20 years ago to read to a ladies’ class at church. I had so much fun writing it; it was from God straight to my heart as I put the words on paper.

Beverly:  What was it that made you decide to seek publication?

Rita:  After I read the story to my ladies’ class, a sweet older woman, Connie Tate, came up to me and told me I needed to publish it. I laughed to myself and told her it was a sweet thought. She would ask me about it every time I saw her until I finally decided to publish a paperback version of it. We distributed about 2500 copies of that version. After the death of our 13 year old grandson in a tragic car accident, I wanted to make some revisions and update the original story; I learned a lot about grief and the importance of the reality of Heaven in the years that followed. I revised it a bit, and we were able to publish a hardback gift book version about 2 years ago. Now it has been picked up by Leafwood Publishers for distribution nationwide in the major Christian bookstores and online–Amazon, etc. It will be released June 9 and I am so excited. I am also so excited that we were able to get an endorsement from Max Lucado for the cover.

Beverly:  Do you intend to write more books?

Rita:  Of course I think about it a lot. Several have suggested that I do a version of My First Day in Heaven for children. I have a heart for children, and that idea appeals to me. I would love to see an illustrated version.

Beverly:  I think that would be wonderful!  If you were to encourage someone to write a book, what 3 things would you tell them?

Rita:  

1. Find something you are passionate about and let it flow from your heart. 

2. Make an outline. Just get something on paper. I actually started with thoughts that came to me as I was reading scriptures about Heaven one day. I began jotting ideas and scriptures on sticky notes and napkins and anything I could put my hands on as the thoughts came to me all that day. It was those sticky notes and napkins that were the basis for writing My First Day in Heaven.
We are often blocked by the need for the perfect words to come out on the paper immediately. The hardest sentence is the first one, but with computers you can revise and move and change over and over again. Put in on paper and then worry about perfecting it later.

3. Be patient with the process of publication. I believe God has led us in His perfect timing to the right path for the My First Day in Heaven, but it has taken 20 years.

Beverly:  What has been the most exciting thing about seeing your words in book form?

Rita:  The most exciting thing about seeing it in book form is being able to share the message with so many people. I believe the good news of Jesus and the truth and reality of Heaven is a message of encouragement and hope to all of us struggling with the stresses and challenges of life. It is a message of comfort for those who have lost someone close to them. It was the culmination of a dream to see the book in a hardback gift book. One of my favorite things is to be able to hand this beautiful little book to a clerk in a store or someone I meet who just happens to share their story with me. Yesterday as I checked into a hotel, I struck up a conversation with the clerk checking me in. I told her about My First Day in Heaven and promised to send her a copy. She was so excited.I could give you more details, but, I encourage you to get a copy as soon as you can and read it.  You won’t be sorry.  You will be inspired and encouraged of what we have to look forward to.  I would think it would be a great encouragement for those that have lost a loved one.  You may also know of someone that needs to hear about the saving grace of Jesus.

Beverly:  Thank you so much, Rita!  You are an inspiration and I pray great and mighty things will become of your book, My First Day in Heaven!  I look forward to your children’s book!  

I knew you would be inspired by Rita!  I hope you will go out and purchase a copy of, My First Day in Heaven.  After you read it, I’m sure there is someone that will come to your mind that you can share it with that may need some uplifting thoughts on a little glimpse of Heaven.

You can purchase your copy at Mardel, LifeWay, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Christian Books Distributors and on Amazon!

Let me know if you read it, I would love to hear your thoughts!

In the mean time, I just have to ask you a question!

Do you know without a doubt that you will go to Heaven when you die?

I was 14 when I heard Billy Graham preach on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

I realized that God loved me!  I had never heard that before.

Have you heard that before?

Have YOU asked Christ into your life?

If you are reading this right now, it is probably a given that the Holy Spirit has put you right where you are at this very second because He is calling you to let you know that He loves you so much and wants you to have that peace that you will have a home in Heaven.

Here are four things to think about:

*Face the fact that your sin has separated you from the God who loves you.

*Be willing to turn away from you sin and turn to God.  This is called repentance.

*Place your trust in the fact that Jesus died for you, and He arose in victory over death.

*Invite Jesus to take control of your life, forgive your sin and make you a child of God.

You can pray this simple prayer right now:

Lord Jesus,

I know I am a sinner.  Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  I open the door of my life and receive You as my Saviour and Lord.  Forgive my sins and take control of my life and help me become the kind of person you want me to be. Amen!

Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you have put your faith and trust in Christ today or at another time, I WILL see you in Heaven someday! Isn’t that awesome?!

Thank you for stopping by!

Beverly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Retreat for Homeschool Moms!

Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit 2015

Renew your vision….Refresh your heart…Restore your strength.

I had the honor of attending the Homeschool Moms’ Winter Summit this past January in San Marcos, Texas! An even greater honor for me,  I served in the Prayer Room with Shirley Quine. How sweet the moms were that came to the prayer room; each one wanting to walk as close to the Lord as possible. Getting to pray with and hear the hearts of these moms was a true joy for me.

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Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit was the vision of Roxanne Parks, author of, Are You Enough? Encouragement for Overwhelmed and Exhaused Homeschool Moms. Roxanne loves encouraging homeschool moms in their journey of homeschooling.   Roxanne has an amazing team of ladies. I loved seeing how the team worked together under Roxanne’s leadership. Everything was done first class and was extremely organized!

Every year there are two summits to choose from. One in San Marcos, Texas and the other in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The weekend begins on Friday afternoon with registration, the event kickoff and a time of fellowship afterwards. Saturday morning opens with an opening session with a great speaker and then on to the workshops, which are designed especially for mom. Before the afternoon workshops, we had a delicious lunch. That afternoon we went back in the main room for a final challenge and a grand prize giveaway. Bed and Breakfast stays and a beach resort weekend were part of the grand prize giveaway.

After dinner on our own, an optional Girls Night Out/Pajama Party and Question and Answer time with Veteran Homeschool Moms filled the late evening. Lot’s of fun during this time, for sure.

On Sunday morning, there is an optional Worship and Prayer time before heading home feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to get back with a strong vision of teaching our children.

Each year the workshops are different. This year the workshop titles were:

Keeping Your Sanity Through Teenage Rebellion by Roxanne Parks

Help, I’m Stuck in a Rutby Sheri Yates

Prayer Life in the Real World by Susan Chrisman

Surprised by the Predictable by Roxanne Parks

Joy in the Journey by Lyndsay Lambert

The Wife We Want to Be by Lisa Pennington

Prioritizing Family Fun by Kerri Naylor

Homeschooling: What Was I Thinking by Lyndsay Lambert

Can You Have a Martha House with Mary Heart by Lisa Pennington

I love how this retreat is geared to the mom; building her up, encouraging her, loving on her and giving her the tools she needs to go back to her family ready to teach, train and love her children and especially, love her husband.

I do hope you will consider attending the 2016 Homeschool Mom’s Winter Summit.

*Texas Winter Summit, February 5-6, 2016

Embassy Suites, San Marcos, Texas

*Oklahoma Winter Summit, January 22-23, 2016

Embassy Suites, Norman, Oklahoma

Go to www.HomeschoolWintersummit.com for more information and to register.

More Fruit….

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23

Thank you for following along as we lightly hit on the Fruit of the Spirit.  Galatians, chapter 5, is a great chapter to settle in on and do some deeper study.

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We last talked about the fruit of goodness.  Let’s finish up with:

Faithfulness – As a believer, we always refer to Jesus as, faithful.  Aren’t you thankful that He is?  One of the first verses I ever memorized as a teen was, I John 1:9-10 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…”  Christ doesn’t look at us and decide if we are worthy of forgiveness, He is faithful to forgive us, period.  Another verse I memorized as a young girl was, “I will never leave you or forsake you…” Hebrews 13:5.  Can you tell I struggled with fear?  When I came to realize the faithfulness of my Savior, I didn’t struggle with fearfulness anymore.

How are we in the faithfulness area?  Are we faithful in our walk with Christ?  Can He depend on us to bring glory to His name in all that we do and say?  Are we faithful to our husband and children?  What about our friends?  Do they describe us as, faithful?  We could go on and on about that one, couldn’t we?

Gentleness – What a gentle Savior we have!

There probably isn’t anything sweeter than a gentle mom with her children.  Is the gentleness of the Holy Spirit evident in your life?

Self-Control – As a follower of Christ, our self control in all situations should be evident.  If there is an area in your life where you don’t have any control, turn to the most patient, loving, gentle, kind and faithful one, Jesus.  Do you need His strength in your life?  He’s waiting patiently…. to give you what you need, ask Him!

I hope Galatians 5:22-23 is a bit more real for you and you are inspired to make sure that the Fruit of the Spirit is evident in your life.

I would love to hear from you in how the Fruit of the Spirit, is real in your life.

Until next time,

Good People!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness…..” Galatians 5:22-23

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A good heart, is a beautiful heart!

 

Have you ever me someone that was just a good person. They just seemed to do things right. They love people, they don’t have issues all the time and they just take people as they are. If someone has an issue with them, they just shrug it off and say, “I’m who I’m supposed to be, I guess that is their problem.”   Good people are good stewards with their talent, their homes, their money and their possessions. That is how I would describe a good person.

Goodness is closely related to kindness. It seems it would be hard to have a kindness without having a good heart. That is what is interesting about the Fruit of the Spirit description. They all are evident when we know who our Savior is and we live it to the fullest.

How do you describe a good person?

Do you want to be known as a good person?

Share the goodness of God today with those you meet today!

Kindness….

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering, kindness…” Galatians 5:22

Kindness is the next fruit to talk about. If you have seen my posts on Facebook during the month of March, you would have seen a “kindness tip” each day. Everything from how we can show kindness to those in our own home all the way to the stranger on the street corner.

I just love the word kindness. To me it says so much. If you describe someone as kind, I picture someone that naturally cares about others. They care about the words they speak, the tone of their voice and making sure others feel comfortable. Don’t you just love being around someone that is kind?

Are you finding it easy to memorize Galatians 5:22-23 by taking a portion of the verses each day?

Be conscience at being kind today to store clerks, waiters, clients, neighbors, strangers, EVERYONE you come in contact with. *Especially, our own family members.

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When we teach our children to be kind to one another, we are doing something great!  Don’t miss the opportunity to instill kindness into your children!

Is there a difficult person in your life? Have you heard the term, “kill them with kindness?” That means, be so kind to them that their unkindness can’t survive. Granted, I know personally that there are some really unkind people around! They need your kindness the most.    As I’ve said many times before, “we are responsible for our own kindness, not someone else’s.”

Have a blessed day and go be kind to someone!

Give Me Patience! Now!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering…” Galatians 5:22

Welcome back, as we continue with our discussion about having the evidence of “The Fruit of the Spirit” in our lives. We were all deeply grateful and encouraged by Shawnna’s writing on how having peace has helped her to get through this sad time of losing her beautiful much loved daughter.

Today, we will take a quick look at the fruit of longsuffering; which is, patience.

We live in a world where everything is fast. Have you ever stood by the microwave while waiting for something to heat up in 30 seconds and it just wasn’t fast enough? What about being in traffic that just isn’t moving fast enough for us? I’ve been in both of those situations and it let me know that this is an area that I have to be aware of and I am working on having more patience in my life.

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I recently read an article by the Navigators. This article was speaking on having the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives; how it isn’t like a fruit salad to just pick around and decide which fruit we want.   This list that Paul gave us in the book of Galatians are the qualities of having Christ in our life.

“This kind of life, a life that exhibits character qualities that reflect Jesus, is attractive to those around us. A life full of the fruit of the Spirit points people toward God.” –Carla Foote, editor of Disciple by The Navigators

Isn’t that our main goal and purpose in life; to point others to Him?

May today, we show a glimpse of Jesus to those around us by the patience that we display in our life.

How are you doing on memorizing Galatians 5:22-23?

If you haven’t read the previous posts on love, joy or peace, click on each fruit and the link will take you to that post.  Also, click here, to read the very beginning.

Challenge:

When you are in a situation where you can feel the impatience coming on, ask the Lord to give you patience and concentrate on showing patience on your face and in your actions.  I was in a store yesterday and I was a little overwhelmed and a bit tired.  The lady checking me out was so kind and friendly.  So friendly that she talked for at least 10 minutes while holding my money to give me my change.  I was really wanting to just go after our already 45 minute visit while shopping in the store. :)  The entire time I was asking the Lord for patience and I concentrated on not being in a hurry and I really did have time to listen and visit, I was just tired and that is no excuse to be rude and cut someone off.  I did enjoy the visit, but I almost let my selfishness ruin an opportunity to show and share Christ.  I would love to hear how your patience is working today.

Have a fruit filled day!