Friday, September 20, 2013

That Perfect Friend: Something In Common

For the Third Thursday Blog Hop this month the topic is "No More Perfect Friends".  It brought to mind a post I shared back on  WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2011, TITLED: SOMETHING IN COMMON.
Something In Common

I am blessed to have friends. A wide variety of friends. As a young person we tend to have friends a lot like us…same grade, same age, same interests, etc. As I’ve aged I’ve made friends with some unlikely people.

I have one friend who thinks passing gas on demand is hilarious (my very lady-like mother will shutter at this thought!). I have another pretty little friend who loves going to yard sales (like me), but has to stop to re-curl her eyelashes and reapply lipstick between stops (unlike me). Then there is another friend who is a great fan of basketball. In fact, she “lived and breathed” it while growing up. Me, well, I’ve never been that interested in basketball, not even as a tall girl who grew up in the Hoosier state. I think I played basketball in P.E. a couple of times. I don’t recall liking it that much. (P.S. I do, however, enjoy watching our nieces and nephew play basketball now!)

There are more friends I could list, but you get the idea. Each of my friends are unique. Each of my friends are special. Each of my friends have taught me something. Some I talk to often, some I do not. Still, they are my friends…and we always manage to pick up right where we left off.

A couple of things I’ve learned down through the years: the old saying is true, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” AND Wilbur the pig from Charlotte’s Web (the kid’s movie) knew what he was singing about when he said, “We have lots in common where it really counts…What we look like doesn’t count an ounce. We have lots in common where it really counts.”  :)

As different as we all are, we’re all a lot alike really. Perhaps we have different interests or talents. Perhaps we have different lifestyles or backgrounds. Perhaps our outward appearances set us apart from one another. Still, what’s inside is more alike than it is not. I don’t like stereotyping any more than I like to be stereotyped myself because I have learned that there’s a lot more to us than what meets the eye.

No matter what our circumstances we all have our aches and pains…whether physical or internal. We all have times of stress and times of joy…and all of us desire to share these times with someone.

We’re human beings which means we’re looking for happiness and no matter what happiness we find, we’re always looking for something else…something more. The successful single woman wishes for a mate. The married woman wishes for a more romantic husband…or for the “perfect” marriage that all of us grew up dreaming of (that no one told us takes a lot of work to achieve). The career woman longs to stay home. The stay-at-home mom longs for adult conversation and interaction. You get the idea!

We all experience times of loneliness no matter who surrounds us. We are humans with flaws, with insecurities and we make our own share of mistakes. We all have selfish tendencies. Yet, we all have a desire to love and be loved. We need each other.

Still, more than that we need a Savior! We don’t need a religion; we need a relationship with the One and only true God!

“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” Romans 3:23 BUT there is HOPE for those of us who believe!!  II Corinthians 5:15 says that Jesus Christ died for everyone so that those who choose to receive Him can have a new life! AND "...anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" II Corinthians 5:17 

I’m thankful for my friends. I’m thankful for my family. I’m glad to know we all have so much in common and to know that I’m not alone in my feelings. I need other people. BUT none of these people can fulfill the longings in my heart to be accepted, understood and completely loved as Jesus Christ can!! No one else can free me! No one else paid the penalty for me! No One else can give me a NEW LIFE!  No one else fills that empty longing like my Savior, Jesus! No one else can give me TRUE hope, peace and joy!

HE is that One that all of us need!

What do you have in common with the widow down the street? The old man on the bench at Wal-Mart? The teenager sitting across from you with her arms crossed? The teller at the bank or the cashier at the grocery store? I believe the answer is, way more than you might have ever imagined!

Who within your reach needs a loving friend today? Who needs to meet your Savior, the best friend of all? I encourage you to open your eyes and see, REALLY see, others around you today! You may be surprised what you find…and what friends you make!

I am blessed to have friends! I am even more blessed to have a relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ!! 

If you’re the one longing for a friend, I encourage you to reach out. Reach out to others and reach out your heart to the One who loves you…the One who created you and sent His son to die for you…the One who can fill those empty longings! If you have questions or need someone to talk to, please e-mail me I’d love to talk with and pray for you!! I bet we have a lot in common.  :)
Remember: No one cares to meet your Savior, until they’ve seen the reality of His love lived out in your life!

This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

It All Begins In the Mind!

This week I started a new online study of "Prayers for a Woman's Soul" by Julie K. Gillies.

I've had this wonderful prayer devotional book for a while and have read it.  But I chose to do this study for three reasons:

1. I love Julie K. Gillies (and knew she would lead me the right way!)
2. I knew it would be profitable (time in prayer and God's Word always is!)
3. I knew I needed to get refocused on my prayer time (it's been a busy summer!)

As we started out the week focused on the topic of Chapter 1: My Mind, I knew this study was just what I needed.  :) God has done what He always seems to do, reestablished the message over and over throughout the every turn!


Through time in His Word He revealed to me a bad attitude I had toward a family member that began in my mind.

Through our mentor mom at MOPS I was reminded to discern fact from feeling (what is true?!) in relation to controlling our emotions, again something that begins in my mind.

Through a Christian radio program I was reminded that what I tell myself (in my mind) will affect every other part of my life.

Julie says that the enemy's plan is to consistently assault our minds until we surrender. She wrote, "The number-one way to resist the enemy is through prayer. Though the attacks against our mind can be subtle, God grants discernment when we ask Him."

It's true!  As I've focused on My Mind in prayer this week, He has revealed to me the negative mindsets that hinder not only my walk with Him, but every other relationship in my life.  Insecurity (self-focus), pride, negativity, anger, a critical spirit.  It all goes back to my mind!

Maybe you struggle with fear, worry, envy, comparison, lust.  Whatever your struggle, it goes back to your mind.  These negative mindsets must be replaced with the Truth that we find in His Word (the Holy Bible).  

We truly do need to take every thought captive and be transformed by the renewing of our minds through Christ.  And Julie is right when she says there is no better place to start than through prayer. When we ask for discernment and help, He is faithful to answer!

If you're interested in joining Julie's study (or would just like to read the first chapter of her book for yourself) check out this link.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove that the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."  
Romans 12:2

"So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace." 
Romans 8:6

P.S. Julie K. Gillies did not ask me to write a post about her study, I just felt led to this morning.  :)