January 2012


You may have read this story before but it deserves to be retold.  Many parents choose to have their children and the results aren’t this profound but every child has as much value as Pam’s young son.

Created to Make Choices

Romans 14:12

Central Theme:   God gave us the ability to make good and bad choices.

Introduction–I went to a pastor’s meeting and was forced into taking a job I did not want.  In reality, I made a choice to do the job I didn’t like. Each of us have choices and we make choices.  We do have the opportunity to talk to God about all the choices we make when we pray.

                 Have a member read Romans 14:12.

I.     Tell the story of Adam and Eve

1.  Eve was deceived but she made a choice.

2.  Adam was not deceived, he choose to follow Eve.

II.     There are two kinds of choices that we make.

A. We are tricked into making the wrong choice.

1.  We find ourselves in a place where we know what we should do but we choose to do something that is wrong.

2.  We might be tricked, or pressured, or forced but we do the right thing anyway.

B. Right or wrong–we decide on our own to do what we do.

III.     Each of us make choices each day and we should talk to God about the choices we make.

Conclusion–Jesus helps us to make good choices in our lives.

The theme for soulblindministry is “I’m just a simple guy simply trying to change the world.”  I haven’t followed Daniel Lyons’ blog long enough to know whether his thoughts are right or wrong; but I really admire and love his goal–to change the world.

I was married to a man for 49 years who deeply believed that the Lord had placed him on earth to change the world.  He believed that one day he would be able to invent a machine that would defy gravity and release the secret of energy.  He died before he could reach his goal.  However, living with him, I came to share his vision.

Changing the world is what Jesus came to do.  Changing the world is the mission that Jesus left with his disciples.  Think about these twelve men.  They were unschooled working men who turned the world right side up.  For more than 2000 years the dynamic effect Jesus has left on people have been a passion for change.  This passion has translated into a desire to help the people of the world release themselves into a supernatural energy force that will propel our planet into “peace on earth, goodwill to men.”

Not matter where I go today, I pray that my life will be an example of God’s peace and the goodwill that demonstrates that the world can change as God comes to live in our hearts and minds through the sacrifice of Jesus.

The week before Christmas and the next two weeks have always been a bit of whirlwind for our family.  We celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Day heartily.  Additionally, there are three birthdays and three wedding anniversaries crammed into those short weeks.

January 7 would have marked my husband’s and my 50th wedding anniversary.  But he tricked the family and died on May 10, 2011, avoiding a large party.  The children and I were trying to sort through how to make an 50th anniversary party work with my husband very sick, limited mobility and basically no desire for a big party.  He solved the issue.

It seems selfish to feel a bit of disappointment that we didn’t make our 50th wedding anniversary because it is certainly true that I’m very happy that my husband is no longer suffering.  But for me our anniversary date was accented with the first full day of deep regrets since he died.

Ours wasn’t a perfect marriage.  We’ve been told by several newlywed couples that Frank and I could learn a great deal about marriage by watching how they interact.  There were many days of self-made trauma and conflict.  While he did things that annoyed me and bruised my spirit, I never doubted his love.  Yet, because of his own childhood and deep insecurities, he was never able to fully accept mine.

Now, I know that he is healed and not hurting.  That makes me happy.  Of course, the party is over but a new page is beginning for both of us.  And it is good.

I admit, I’m not extremely good at pacing myself.

Yet, there are some tricks I’ve learned from others along the way.  Here are eight of them.

  1.  Force yourself to be patient with what you have.  Much of our frantic pace doesn’t come from good works but a dissatisfied spiritual quest for more stuff.
  2. Make friends with who you are.  The key to loving who you are is loving and accepting your parents.  They molded you into the person you are–whether you were compliant or rebellious.  They were the people who shaped your early years of development.  Forgiving and accepting them for their good qualities and mistakes is a vital step in becoming best friends with yourself.
  3. Become the enemy of what you do.  Who you are is different from what you do.  Lying, stealing, cheating, inappropriate anger are common to every person.  They are the things we do.  Make these your enemy; fight against them.
  4. Take time off to smell the roses and enjoy God. How many of us break the commandment that tells us to take a Sabbath day of rest? All the others are to be obeyed, but this one can be dismissed.
  5. Don’t be in a hurry to succeed.  Celebrate the small successes in your life and the lives of others.  Make one meal a day a party time. Think of something you have done right and enjoy!
  6. Exercise and eat good foods.  Take care of your body.
  7. Be in God’s word every day.  Feed your spirit.  You can complete reading the Bible in one year by reading 4 chapters a day.  That is about 15 minutes a day in God’s word.
  8. Give generously to others.  Give more than money.  Give of your time.  Stop to spend time to have a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea.

In the book of Acts, we learn about Doras.  She was a woman who was always doing good.  She got sick and died.  The people that she ministered to were the people who called for Peter to come and pray for her.  They were the folks to helped her in her greatest time of need.  You will find the same to be true in your life.

Doing good is the most important thing we do for others.  Learning to pace ourselves will make doing these good works possible.

All right let’s admit it.  The  church must continue to do good.

But goodness doesn’t usually win awards or get us that “15 minutes of fame”  we’ve been promised.  Additionally, tiredness becomes an impelling factor that overwhelms us at some time in our lives.

Bob Mumford, a famous preacher in the 1970’s , said that it always amazed him the people who were able to continue and grow in Jesus.  These successful men and women were almost never the splashy people.

In fact, he said that he was careful and cautious of the people who talked big and made themselves appear important. They were usually the people who quickly faded away.  It was the folks who remained shy and didn’t impress anyone who succeeded in their walk with Christ.

Paul wrote, in Galatians 6:9, “Don’t be tired of doing good.”  I’ve often thought this must by my life verse because people are always coming up and quoting it to me, telling me that the Lord impressed them to share it with me.

It’s not the “life verse” I would like to chose.  Yet, The point is important. I am constantly attempting to learn how to pace myself.   The executive director of The Special Gathering, Richard Stimson used to say to me all the time. ” Learn to pace yourself.”  I’m still trying to learn that lesson.

People who are successful are the people who know how to pace themselves.  They are the people who don’t be tired doing good.  In ministering to the mentally challenged community, it is easy to become burnt and fried by the demands and concerns.  Pacing ourselves will help us to keep running until the end of the race.

When faced with a problem and needing to confront a person in authority, here are some excellent tips for finding solutions:

1.    Be positive

2.    Be clear and stay focused

3.    Talk to the person who can make the difference

4.    Ask what happened and why

5.    Think solutions, not just complaints

6.      Keep within your own experience of the problem

7.      Write down beforehand what you want to say.  Include the list of issues and questions you want answered, in case you forget in the meeting.

8.      Focus on a way forward

This information was supplied by

The Family Cafe
888-309-CAFE
http://www.FamilyCafe.net

1332 N. Duval St.
Tallahassee, FL 32303
United States

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