Saturday, July 18, 2009

Defeating Negativity...

New Life Ministries

Defeating Negativity

Let angry people endure the backlash of their own anger; if you try to make it better, you’ll only make it worse.

From experience, we know that it is easy to criticize others. And we know that it is usually far easier to find faults than to find solutions. Still, the urge to criticize others remains a powerful temptation for most of us.

Negativity is highly contagious: We give it to others who, in turn, give it back to us. This stress-inducing cycle can be broken only by positive thoughts, heartfelt prayers, encouraging words, and meaningful acts of kindness.

As thoughtful servants of a loving God, we have no valid reason—and no legitimate excuse—to be negative. So, when we are tempted to be overly critical of others, or unfairly critical of ourselves, we must use the transforming power of God’s love to break the chains of negativity. We must defeat negativity before negativity defeats us.

Winners see an answer for every problem; losers see a problem in every answer. ~Barbara Johnson

We never get anywhere—nor do our conditions and circumstances change—when we look at the dark side of life. ~Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

To lose heart is to lose everything. ~John Eldredge

Do not build up obstacles in your imagination. Difficulties must be studied and dealt with, but they must not be magnified by fear. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Lord, let me be an expectant Christian. Let me expect the best from You, and let me look for the best in others. If I become discouraged, Father, turn my thoughts and my prayers to You. Let me trust You, Lord, to direct my life. And, let me be Your faithful, hopeful, optimistic servant
every day that I live. Amen

Saturday, July 11, 2009

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace . . . Will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

After you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace . . . Will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10

You have seen the arch of heaven as it spans the plain: Glorious are its colors, and rare its hues. It is beautiful, but, sadly, it passes away, and the rainbow is no more. The fair colors give way to the fleecy clouds, and the sky is no longer brilliant with the tints of heaven. It is not established. How can it be? A glorious show made up of transitory sunbeams and passing raindrops-how can it remain?

The graces of the Christian character must not resemble the rainbow in its transitory beauty but, on the contrary, must be established, settled, abiding. Seek, O believer, that every good thing you have may be an abiding thing. May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no "baseless fabric of a vision," but may it be built of material able to endure that awful fire that shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite. May you be rooted and grounded in love. May your convictions be deep, your love real, your desires sincere. May your whole life be so settled and established that all the blasts of hell and all the storms of earth will never be able to remove you.

But notice how this blessing of being established in the faith is gained. The apostle's words point us to suffering as the means employed-"After you have suffered a little while." It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree and those strange twistings of the branches all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Do not shrink then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.

The family Bible reading plan:
Joshua 14-15Joshua 16-17
Psalm 146-147Psalm 148

Please note: Devotional material is taken from “Morning and Evening,” written by C.H. Spurgeon, revised and updated by Alistair Begg. Copyright (c) 2003, Good News Publishers and used by Truth for Life with written permission. Today’s Bible Reading material is taken from McCheyne Bible reading plan and used by Truth For Life with permission. Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible: English Standard Version, copyright (c) 2001, Good News Publishers.

Truth For Life's agreement with Good News Publishers prevents the ministry from allowing a printer-friendly version of the devotional material. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Billie Holiday "All of Me"...

Well, LOTS to report. Seriously! I just don't know where to even start!

My birthday BBQ on the 6th of June was a hit. I had good friends, good times, and good food, all mixed together! It was fantastic.

My turned in my notice to the coffee shop; August 31st will be my very last day of employment as a barista in Fairhaven. I am super-excited to start new adventures!

I pulled off a 4.0 gpa last quarter! Very proud of myself, yes I am! I thought the final for Family Law was going to kill me! And, the final prep for the Legal Interviewing & Investigating was rough, too. The third class was pretty fantastic: Law Office Procedures. Very informative!

I'm in the process of moving into a new domicile this week; very thrilled about that! Much closer to campus, and in a super-quiet neighborhood. And, good friends and good company, and lots of organic veggies growing in the backyard. What a treat!

And, I'm taking three legal classes this summer. I am a little panicked at the moment, simply because I'm still putting together my weekly calendars for the next 8 weeks. I have to have all of my ducks in a row when it comes to homework and classes and work. Without it, I can't see what's happening, and I'm liable to let stuff slide when it needs to be taken care of.

I'm one of those strange, strange people who absolutely requires a visual of my life. Without that visual to reference, I feel lost and overwhelmed. OCD much? Well, perhaps. I just might own that one.

The veggies have become DINOSAUR VEGGIES!!!!! I cannot believe how insane the plants are growing, seriously. The carrots are growing like crazy; the tomatoes are gargantuan, and if the zucchini doesn't stop growing it's going to take over the entire balcony. It's so dang full of life out there I am amazed the balcony doesn't collapse. Container gardening has been a hit so far! (Minus the radishes.) For my first adventure in radishes, I think I've learned quite a bit. We got one good stunner out of the three I attempted. So, less sun and less heat for those guys. I'll try again once I get settled into the new place.

And last but certainly not least, Parke and I went on a crazy spur-of-the-moment trip to Montana to visit the Montana LeClercqs. It was sooooooo fantastic. We're looking forward to going back at the end of August to help with the house. I'll be posting pictures as soon as I get some!

Here's to happy summers, and always being thankful for the Lord's Providence.