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Archive for September, 2015

By this time next year we will be in Florida. I have high hopes. I have a few plans. Of course I want to start up a tangible version of my Facebook group, Wild Flowers. To view what that is all about you can read the group description here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367147110119734/

It’s basically a call to help us as women to put down our cooking utensils, our commitments to our babies and families, our jobs, and enjoy a little more time in outdoor adventures with other women of like-mind. Why? Well you can read about that here: https://simplelifesecrets.wordpress.com/2014/12/03/wild-flowers/

But I have bigger plans than just that. I love God. I love helping people. I hear a call to help the less fortunate. Tim and I try to give our “offering” or “tithe” or “purposing” (or whatever you like to call it) to people in need. Whether it be to help a struggling family, to feed the homeless on the streets of Austin, or to help a flooded community rebuild etc.

This week for instance we bagged 12 lunches and found the homeless in Austin. And that is good sometimes. Sometimes there is a conviction to do that.

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But mostly I like to help people I know. People who I can (or have) poured my life into.

So here is my big plan. (I’d do it where I am right now, but the long-term relationships this ‘ministry’ requires would fall short in light of the fact we will be leaving here in the spring/summer).

My plan is to incorporate the women of my Wild Flowers group (and any men who care to help), and start cooking meals together for people who have fallen on hard times. People they know. People I know. We take our own offering- our own money- and we pour it into buying the ingredients needed to cook the meals. We can also use the fresh produce from our own gardens. We do not register as a non profit. We are not under the umbrella of/ or need the assistance of/ any denomination. Why? In this way we avoid regulation, and the government can’t shut us down. We are simply friends helping friends. There is no law against that. Our reward is not in the tax return. Our reward comes from the heavenly Father and the sheer joy of doing what He asked us to do.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5: 22-23

It may not always be a meal. Sometimes we may choose to pool our money and help someone pay their electric bill or their rent etc. These will all be people our group knows or have been recommended to. People who have checked out as genuinely needy and going through a temporary hard time. People whom we can love on and build a relationships with. For me, it is ultimately because I want to show them Jesus. This may not be everyone in the group’s motive. But I do not judge that. As long as they want to help, let them, let us, help.

So here is my shout out to my ladies in Florida (Panama City/Mexico Beach area) who will live near me and want to spend time together outdoors and do a little good in the process. All I need is a few strong minded women who are full of compassion. Think about it. Talk to me. School me. Join me if you can. You know how to reach me, and for those of you who do not: sing53@hotmail.com is a good place to start.

Praying to the Lord to bless this and hoping great things in His name!
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

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We live in a new age. Everyone is an expert. Seemingly new ideas and philosophies are wowing those with improper upbringing and lack of a fundamental value system, common decency, common sense, and experience. So when a “new” idea comes along many takers jump on board.

Take for instance the idea of living a “positive” lifestyle. “I’m no longer going to let negativity into my life.” is the modern cry. But I have noticed that many of the people who voice this stance are often perpetrating more negativity than they realize. Because I think many times there is a misunderstanding about the true nature of positivity. For what is true positivity? Is it living a care-free life void of conflict or distraction from their goals? Really?

I have  a few ideas on the subject, and I’ve laid them out here in: “What Positivity Isn’t” and What Positivity Is.” Tell me if you can get down with this, if you can get on board, if you can pick up what I am putting down. 🙂

What Positivity Isn’t:

  • A lack of true peace, contentment and inner joy, no matter what is going on around us.
  • The need to avoid conflict at all costs.
  • A refusal to look deep into one’s soul to examine if I may have contributed to a problem when dealing with relational issues.
  • The need of drugs or alcohol to achieve a calm and restful state of being.
  • Living from Monday to Friday without any greater goal than looking forward to the weekend so that I may party with my “friends.” Positivity is not getting drunk or high every Saturday night. That is a temporary ‘happiness’ that leaves one empty, yet again, the next day.
  • Having no concept of/or taking no responsibility for/ putting true effort into making relationships work. Fruitful and rewarding relationships take effort. An extreme amount of effort from both parties.
  • Hanging on to my possessions and my perceived freedoms at all costs
  • Not taking responsibility for my actions.
  • Positivity isn’t only to talk about subjects that make me feel happy or upbeat. Or to only hang around people who are seemingly only happy or upbeat. (“He [Jesus] was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” -Isa 53:3) Why was Jesus like this? Ask yourself why was C.S. Lewis or Bob Dylan like this? All for the same reason. They contemplated the deep things of life, didn’t shy away from them, avoid them, or let them go. They contemplated pain and suffering, and they tried to do something about it. They always strove to go deeper, harder, stronger, longer. They were, in fact, the real deal.
    Does that mean they did not have inner joy? Of course not. I know for sure that all had serious inner joy. For knowing all things as Jesus did, and not being afraid to contemplate all things, as Dylan & C.S. Lewis did are what brings about ultimate peace. For if we do not search, then how can we ever arrive at the answers?
  • Positivity is not avoiding people who encourage you to be a better person and steer you toward better behaviors.
  • Positivity will not give in to the temptation of pride.

What Positivity Is:

  • Genuine peace, joy and contentment that can only come from a relationship with, trust in, and an understanding of Jesus Christ and what He desires for our life.
  • Living an honest life. Foremost being honest with oneself and before one’s God (“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” -Psa 139:23)
  • Tarrying with my brother or sister, hearing their concerns and bearing their burdens with much forbearance and kindness. (“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” – Gal 6:2).
  • Learning to be content with a few good friends in whose hearts you can trust, instead of the false validation of many friends whose hearts are not with you.
  • Does not avoid conflict, but deals with conflict head on as one who is courageous and one who is kind- who does not seek his/her own comfort. Realizing that without conflict no relationship will ever delve beneath the surface and become great or beautiful or truly comfortable. This is true in our adult relationships and is especially true when raising our growing children.
  • Positivity is gentleness and patience in attitude and manner. (Kathleen, especially, needs to work on this when she feels hurt from others)
  • Is knowing your own worth no matter what anyone else tries to tell you that you are, or you are not. God says you were uniquely and wonderfully made!
  • Deals with sin head on and honestly.
  • A positive person will not consider themselves as entitled or elite, but humbles oneself and avails oneself to service in the kingdom. Whatever it takes. Whatever the Lord requires at any given moment in order to build relationships, in order to mentor, or in order to build the kingdom.
  • Is not selfish with their things or their time.
  • Is not a respecter of persons.
  • Positivity is content with being alone when it is required.
  • It knows oneself and owns up to the good and the bad in oneself. Works on oneself and gives oneself a break at the same time. But more than that, knows one’s Savior and knows Who holds the entire universe, and everything that goes on in it, in the palm of His hand. And rests in that at all times, even when there is no one else standing beside you in the whole world. That is positivity at its finest.
  • Positivity is spending joyful hours with children and the elderly.
  • Positivity is giving to the poor and spending time with them. Realizing their value and their worth. (“Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?”- James 2:5)
  • Positivity is loving at all times in word and in action.

So maybe it is time to re-think the positive lifestyle. Maybe it is time to dig a little deeper. I guarantee that if you do, you will smile even in whatever darkness the world might throw your way. And then the, “I’m no longer going to let negativity into my life” becomes a very big job indeed. But you will be on the right track and you will see great success.

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