What Did You Say?

Growing up in a Christian family I rarely, if ever, heard profanity.  Expletives were often replaced with “doggone it” “for Pete’s Sake,” or “that honks me off”.  I was taught at an early age not to use “ugly” or vulgar words.

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Apparently I was a good student of what not to say growing up, because even now there are words I just cannot incorporate into conversation.  A certain word that easily flows off of the tongues of my grandchildren makes me cringe.  Before you think poorly of my sweet grands, it is not a horrible word.  Just one for a bodily function that my family never deemed proper for a young lady or gentleman to use.

When I was young television banned the use of four letter foul words and taking the Lord’s name in vain.  There was no cable and Prime Time was a lot more prim and proper.  Comparing shows we watched to those on now is like comparing soda pop and hard liquor.  It is astounding how low the regulations are now.

I can remember a time when men watched their words around ladies.  When a “bad” word slipped out it was quickly followed by an apology.  That is called respect.  Men respected themselves and women.

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So what exactly is the point in using cuss words?  Your sentence should still hold the same meaning.  You on the other hand will sound much smarter, kinder, and polished without them.  My grandmother often said a person’s perceived IQ dropped with each cuss word they said.  Makes sense when you think about it.

What does the Bible say about our words?  In Colossians 3:8 it says “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.”  That sounds very straightforward.  No filthy language should come from your lips.

One of the Ten Commandments, the third one, states clearly “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.”  That is not a suggestion but a command.

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So many times I read something on Facebook that I would love to share, but there is a problem.  The message is great, but it contains profanity.  Really?!  A point would have been made without those extra words.  There are some darling shirts, also, until I get down to the last line.  Wham!  An ugly spoils an otherwise nice message.

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How about those shirts that advertise being a Christian and cuss, too?  Hmmm.  Why would anyone want to advertise that? I don’t think that is in scripture.  What is in scripture is “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” from Ephesians 5:4.   Listen to what James 3:10 says “Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

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Sure we all slip up.  I do at times and then wince.  Quickly I ask for forgiveness and try my best not to repeat it.  Like everything on this planet though I am a work in progress.  Aren’t you?  I challenge you to eliminate these “ugly” words from your vocabulary.  Teach you children and grandchildren that they do not need them either.  Lead by example.

Most importantly, I urge you not to take the Lord’s name in vain.  Too many people have forgotten it is a sin.  Let’s work together and not just act like Christians, but let’s talk like we should, too.  We can do this.  Are you with me?

 

 

 

The Missing Piece

Hello my friends!  Are you settling into 2020 and finding all of the pieces coming together or do you perhaps have a piece that is not here?  We have given the new year a week’s testing.  Have you found it measuring up or lacking?

Our answers will be as varied as we all are.  For some of us, this first week has been a delight.  Bring on 2030!  We are ready to see what this year holds.  Others of us find fault with anything.  Delight is found in complaining.  Nothing ever brings joy.  Do you know someone like that?

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I have a friend who was constantly searching for something.  There was a piece missing in his life, without whatever it was he could not be content.  He tried hard to buy that piece.

Cars were always being upgraded and replaced in hopes that one would finally please him.  Lexus, Jaguar, Porsche, and Mercedes Benz left him wanting.  Automobiles that most of us only dream about owning weren’t good enough.

Adult “boy toys” were purchased.  Boats, horses, helicopter, exotic dogs, and homes, but still there was something lacking.   True happiness eluded him.   He was a prominent professional with a high degree, but that did not satisfy him.  A more prestigious career with additional majors was earned.  Still no satisfaction was found.  His hunt continued.

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Yes, my friend was still looking for what would complete him.  He had a wife, in fact he had gone through a few, and had children.  Many people called him friend.  What he didn’t have was Jesus.

Psalm 34:10b says “Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

After trying everything else, he turned to the Lord.  After a few Sundays at church he answered the pull on his heart.  The ache and emptiness was gone.  His half empty glass was now full.  The missing piece had been found and he was now complete.

What about you?  Do you feel like you are searching for something that is missing from your life?  Are you yearning for something?  Maybe that something is your Creator.  We were made by and for Him.

If you don’t have a relationship with Him or know someone who needs Him, reach out in prayer.  God will hear you.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

 

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Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 Book Tour and Giveaway by Celebrate Lit

My Thoughts

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is written by author Vickie Burns. It is a devotional, study on Proverbs 31, and cookbook all combined into one God glorifying book.  The author has written this to help women understand how precious we are to God and offer helpful kitchen recipes for the family.

I was immediately drawn to the beautiful cover.  It speaks more to the devotional side of the book.  The rich color and jewel are inviting so I wanted to see what was inside.

This 246 page book contains a variety of themes for the devotionals.  There are A Mother’s Love, Working Hands, and Be a Blessing along with three other weekly topics.  Each week contains five daily lessons and a weekend wrap-up.

The daily lesson opens with a one page devotional thought based on a topic from 31.  The next page follows with six questions to ponder and draw deeper.  The seventh question is an activity or question for life application along with space to journal.  Concluding the day is a menu with recipes.  The recipes are accompanied with a personal memory or story.

I extremely enjoyed this devotional.  The writing was nice and easy to understand.  It helped bring Proverbs 31 to  an attainable level.  I felt more self-worth after doing this study.

This would make a lovely women’s small group selection.  Women of all ages will benefit from reading this.  The recipes are an added bonus.  I highly recommend it. My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.  A copy was provided by a Celebrate Lit, but these are my honest words.

 

About the Book

Book:  Priceless

Author: Vickie Burns

Genre: Devotional/Cookbook

Release Date: November, 2019

Front cover Priceless

Priceless: A Devotional Cookbook Based on Proverbs 31 is a Bible study and cookbook combined. The author, Vickie Burns, takes the reader verse by verse through Proverbs 31, showing them how precious and loved they are. At the end of each day’s study, meal suggestions and recipes are provided to fill their homes with tantalizing aromas and great food. Even young children can help with meal preparation so they learn that dinner doesn’t just magically appear on the table.

For women who’ve read Proverbs 31 and felt inadequate, like they could not possibly live up to God’s description of the perfect woman, Priceless reveals that they have more in common with her than they ever imagined.

“Today’s busy mom rarely finds time to steal a few moments of peace and quiet to spend with the Lord each day,” Vickie says. “On top of that, she most likely does not take the time to flip through endless sections of cookbooks to plan a unique evening meal. Priceless encourages women to view their tasks as God’s call to an abundant life, empowers them by providing a daily word from Proverbs 31, and eases their minds by providing a full menu for the evening meal each day.”

 

Click here to get your copy.

 

About the Author

Vickie Burns is passionate about showing women how to love and live the abundant life that Jesus Christ offers. Through Bible study, public speaking, and writing inspirational cookbooks, Vickie inspires women to love the Lord with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength; to see and love themselves as Christ does—PRICELESS; and to love others through genuine hospitality. She lives in Texas with the love of her life, Todd Burns, and they have two daughters.

 

More from Vickie

This book, Priceless, is not my story but it was birthed from it. I was raised in a single-parent Christian home after my parents divorced. I watched my mom handle everything: cooking, cleaning, bills, homework, a full-time job, etc. I had no idea until I became a wife and mother all that she must have been through while raising three children on her own. I do know that she had a strong relationship with the Lord and that she had friends and family support.

Today, I look back at my childhood with renewed respect for my mom. My husband, Todd and I did our best to raise our two girls to honor the Lord while we went to school for our master’s degrees and tried to keep our household running smoothly. I had the help of a husband and was still overwhelmed while working as a teacher, trainer, coach and administrator in public education. On top of that I was still a wife, mother, friend, sister, chef, chauffer, nurse and more. Over the years, as I have gotten to know other women, I realize that I am not alone. We all long for ways to balance work and family, cooking and cleaning, physical busyness and spiritual warfare.

As my heart broke for the busy women in my life (to whom I totally relate) I longed to try and make life a little easier for all of us. I began to study God’s Word for answers. As I studied, I learned that God created us for relationship with Himself and with others. I learned that sharing our burdens with one another is His design. I found out that love should drive every word and action as we relate to others. I discovered that the crazy life that we are trying to balance is actually our ministry to our families and communities. I also realized that hospitality isn’t just something that was dreamed up by Martha Stewart. God ordained hospitality from the beginning when He created Adam and Eve in His image and placed them in the garden of Eden. God touches the heart of mankind with a piece of His own. There are examples of this throughout scripture. The biggest deposit of God’s heart within us is the gift of His Spirit. This gift is what makes genuine hospitality possible today. When we touch another person’s heart with a piece of our own, we are showing hospitality, sharing the love of Christ, and making connections that impact our world. This revelation was the birth of my ministry. I call it The Heart of Hospitality. Through my writing and speaking engagements, I share with women how to see the tasks and responsibilities of our daily lives as a calling from God. Beyond that, I help women understand that viewing their lives in this way is what Jesus meant when He said He came to give us “abundant life”.

My prayer for you, as you read this book is:

  • that you will be touched with a piece of God’s heart.
  • that hospitality will come to mean something new to you.
  • that each devotion in this book exposes your pricelessness in Christ.
  • that you will know beyond the shadow of any doubt that you are rare, unique and have significant meaning to your Creator.

May God richly bless you and your household.

 

Blog Stops

Vicky Sluiter, January 1

For Him and My Family, January 1

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 2

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 3

Jacquelyn Lynn, January 3

Older & Smarter?, January 4

Texas Book-aholic, January 5

Mary Hake,January 5

janicesbookreviews, January 6

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, January 7

Inspiration Clothesline, January 7

Inklings and notions, January 8

Blossoms and Blessings, January 9

For the Love of Books, January 9

She Lives to Read, January 10

Quiet Workings, January 11

Godly Book Reviews, January 11

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 12

A Rup Life, January 13

Emily Yager, January 13

KarenSueHadley, January 14

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Vickie is giving away the grand prize package of a copy of Priceless and a $50 Amazon Card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/f425/priceless-celebration-tour-giveaway

Words for 2020

As I begin each new year, God gifts me with a word or two for that year.  Do you have a word for your year, also?  It becomes something to ponder and work on making or doing better.

In the past I have had family, hope, victory, and other words.  For 2020 my words, there are two, are pray and love.  I was totally surprised.  God will reveal in His time why He gave me each word.  I might not even know until the end of the year when all of the pieces fall into place.  What I do know is that for this year I will make a concentrated effort to pray more and love better.

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Where do you get your word

People have asked me how to get a word for the year.  Since it comes from God the first step is to pray for one.  Then listen and look.  I hear Him gently whisper my word to me.  My best friend is inundated with her word.  She sees and hears it multiple times after praying so it is hard to miss.

What to do with your word

I find it a place to start working, a goal for the year.  Let’s take my word pray.  In an earlier blog I challenged readers to pray for twenty people this year.  I am taking extra time for intercessory prayer.  Everyday I read prayer requests on Facebook or have a phone call requesting it.  Honestly it did not take long to list twenty people.

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My family is always on my list.  Their safety, health, Walk or salvation are prayed for daily.  I pray for my grandchildren, nieces, and nephews everyday, too.  Asking God to watch over their future spouse is another prayer of mine.  When we pray there is no limit to what we can bring to the Father.

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Love is my other word.  I am praying about the significance of this word for me.  Perhaps I do not love my enemies and just think I do.  There are so many types of love that I need to refresh my memory and read up on them.

Jesus has called us to love.  In Matthew 22:36-39 it says: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  That is pretty simple.  Love is what we need to do.  Right?

What is your word

I would love to hear your word if you received one for this year.  Please tell me so that I can pray for you as you learn from it.  Let’s make 2020 a year of learning, doing things for the Lord, and helping each other.  Are you in?

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My 2020 Challenge for You

 

Happy New Year, my friends and welcome to 2020!  Are you excited about a brand new year with endless possibilities?  I know that I am.  Are there things you want to do differently this year than last?  Me, too.  Let’s work on that together.

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Contemplating the next twelve months, what would you like to accomplish?   Do you have things you really yearn to do or maybe stop doing?  I think some people call that resolutions.

Since I am a list maker, I took pen in hand and began.  My list started and soon became overwhelmingly long.  Immediately I felt discouraged.   I would encourage you to keep yours challenging but still attainable.  Don’t begin the year feeling defeated.  Asking God to hone your 2020 aspiration list will make it perfect for you.

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Tell me, do you have a strategically crafted plan to fulfill your dreams for this year?  The first thing on that list should be to pray for that plan.  Ask God to show you what to do and how to do it.  That is what I intend.  With His help it will be much easier.

Scripture tells us in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

I find the above bible verse comforting.  God, the Creator, will teach me what I need to know to accomplish my plans.  Really?  Me?  God cares enough about me to do that?  Absolutely, and He cares that much for you, also.  He might place people in my life that will be able to help me.  Perhaps a book or article will be brought to my attention.  The ways He will help you and me are limitless.

My challenge for you for 2020 is to pray.

I want to challenge you to join me this year.  Commit yourself to daily pray over your 2020 goals.  Adopt a system using a prayer jar or journal.  Record your specific prayer requests in a prayer journal or place them in a prayer jar.  As your prayers are answered  and results seen, make notes by the request.

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Besides praying for yourself, add 20 people to your list.  Ask God to place those people on your heart for prayer.  Place these names after your list or in your jar.  Each day lift one or all of these people up to our Heavenly Father.  Maybe you are praying for health, healing, salvation, or financial issues.  Perhaps you don’t even know why Abba brought this person to your mind.  Just intercede for them in prayer.

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Get a Prayer Partner

A prayer partner is someone that will be there for you to take your requests, thanks, and  praises to God.  My prayer partner lives many, many miles away but is ready within a few minutes of a text to pray.  There is a deeper level of prayer coming before Jehovah with another Christian.  She keeps me accountable, too.  If you do not currently have a prayer partner, I would encourage you to try it.  Ask at church or in your circle of friends.  Better yet, ask God to send you one.

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Let me know if you accepted my challenge and how you are doing.  I’d love to hear if you are using a prayer journal or prayer jar.  As always, if you have a prayer request for me, leave it below and I will most assuredly pray.  Thanks for spending some time with me today.

Philippians  4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

 

Goodbye, 2019, and Hello, 2020

Goodbye, 2019 and hello, 2020!  Here we are again. Another year is winding down to a close. Don’t worry. There is a brand new one just waiting to take 2019’s place.  The years seem to come faster and faster anymore.

How did 2019 treat you?  Whether this has been your best, worst, or just an average year, it is time to take inventory and plan for the next one.  Do you have expectations for this coming year, 2020, or yourself? A new year is exciting. It’s like getting a blank piece of paper to begin a new chapter in your story.  Exhilarating, isn’t it?!  The promises it holds are limitless.

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What are your plans to escort the old year out and the new year in?  Will you go out and celebrate or choose to party quietly at home?  The past few years we have opted for the latter.  Watching a movie and switching over to see the ball drop is exciting enough for my hubby and me.

The majority of people begin the year with a resolution or two.  Not a bad idea, but how many resolutions make it all year?  Grand plans and hopes turn to ashes when someone offers a piece of homemade fudge or favorite cookie. Even a 75% off sale can crash plans for saving money. My hubby made a resolution a decade or more ago that he continues to keep……”to stop making New Year’s resolutions.” Perhaps I should try that one. My resolutions don’t seem to make it very long.  How about yours?
Design

One tradition that I do at the end of each year is to review my prayer list.  On it is usually one item that looms greater than any of the others. If you have a prayer list you know the one I mean. It is the one you give over to Jesus to handle and take to the Father. Then later that day you start fretting over it again, take it back, and give suggestions to Him on how to work it out. You pick it back up and cannot seem to give it away.  It is your Velcro problem.  It seems to stick with you no matter what.

75346DE3-E11B-4BCA-877B-ABDC326C686AThe problem is so big and seems unsolvable. Oh, but I have great news for you. God is bigger and more powerful than anything. Period.  He is also in the business of miracles.

This is my solution to permanently give it over to Abba.  I take a piece of paper and jot down that problem which has now become a mountain. Then I pray about it, completely surrendering it to Jesus, throw the paper in the fireplace, and I watch it burn. As it is eaten up by flames and disintegrated, I give thanks that the problem is out of my hands and into His. I have totally relinquished it to my Maker.  He is doing what needs done according to His perfect will.  Before my prayer ends the paper has turned to ashes, tears stream down my cheeks, and my worry has vanished. I am at peace.  Shalom.

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Try it with one of your problems that has grabbed you and refuses to let go. God says not to worry. We can do that only by praying and turning things over to Him. He is good and He is faithful. God won’t let us down. In fact, He will give us His perfect peace.  Go into 2020 with one less issue hanging over your head, and with you holding onto Jesus’s hand.  Give it to Him.  Trust Him.  He has this, He has 2020, and He has you!

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Let Me Tell My Story

Do you like stories?  Me, too.   I love reading novels.  Those fictional tales take me away to places and times that are captivating.  An excellent wordsmith is able to compose the most realistic tale.  Each author should have an incomparable style and storyline.

Not all stories are written.  Do you ever hear stories from someone that happen not to be theirs to tell?  That, my friend, is called gossip.  The dictionary defines gossip as “casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.”  Whether true or not, information shared about another is gossip.

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My husband has been ill for a few years.  Recently a friend called to see if I wanted to join a lunch group now that my husband is in a nursing home.  Totally bewildered, I thanked her and explained that he was sitting right beside me on the loveseat.  Someone had told my story and evidently not correctly.

Scripture tells us in James 1:26 “Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”  Did that step on anyone’s toes besides mine?  After the gossip incident about my husband, I have been increasingly more careful about not telling someone else’s story.

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We should all be able to tell or keep our stories.  Have you had someone tell something that was only for you to share?  What were your feelings?  Mine ran various directions.  I was upset, embarrassed, confused, humored, and saddened.  The information shared was not malicious.  In fact, it was probably spoken lovingly and possibly even asking for prayer over my situation.  The issue is it is incorrect and was given by a second or third editor and not the author, me.

Do you unintentionally gossip?  Perhaps you don’t realize during an innocent  conversation with your best friend that you are transgressing.  It happens unknowingly and often.  Be on guard with your words especially if you are sharing information about someone else.  Make certain you have facts and they uplift your friend.  Remember, unless you have heard the story from the leading character, chances are it is not a verified edition.

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