Jesus’s Temper versus Ours

We are all self-quarantined at home with this Covid19 pandemic.  Emotions are on a roller coaster of ups and downs.  Tempers are quick to flare. Our descendants will read about this in history books.  How are you spending your time, and how are you maintaining your temper?

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  After Jesus arrived in Jerusalem did you ever wonder how he spent His final week in ministry?  On Monday He taught His disciples a parable about faith when He cursed a fig tree that did not produce fruit. Do you remember that one?

They had been out walking and were hungry when they saw a fig tree with many leaves.  After they looked for the fruit, none could be found. It was barren. Jesus cursed it, and when they came back to it had shriveled up and died.   Scholars believe the tree being cursed represents God’s judgment on those that are spiritually dead.

Jesus was comparing the tree to the whole nation of Israel because it had become spiritually barren before the Lord.  It no longer produced fruit.  The people knew their  religion but did not live it.  They knew the correct words, but their hearts were away from God.

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This story of what Jesus also did might be more familiar.  Jesus also went into the temple and cleared it out of the dishonest money changers.  This time He was mad.  He had enough.  They were cheating people and making a mockery of the temple.  Jesus went through overturning tables and saying: “Scripture says ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.” He drove the money changers and their animals out restoring order and respect.

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What has stayed with me about this story for many years is that Jesus stopped and braided a whip so that He could think about what He was going to do before just charging into the temple.  He didn’t fly off the handle but took time to think about the situation. Maybe He prayed.  I would imagine He did.

How about you when you become angry?

“So He made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.” John 2:15

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Could you do this? I can’t tell you how many times I have flown off the handle in anger. Acted quickly without thinking things through.  My family calls that having a “short fuse”   because it does not take long to explode after the anger is lit.

Jesus is not like this. His righteous indignation toward what was happening in the temple was just. It needed to be done. He waited to think clearly and make certain it was done correctly.  How many times have I wished that I had done things like that?  Many! What do you do when you are angry?  How do you react?

Jesus had one week left with his disciples before his crucifixion and resurrection.  Everything was done in the right way without rushing.  In His time and in His way.  Even in a time of righteous anger He still slowed down and gave Himself time to cool off and think with a clear mind.  What a beautiful example for all of us.

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Simple Things Bring Joy

The night before I needed to run some errands my sweet daughter messaged me.  She volunteered to chauffeur me in case there were no parking places or just to spend time together.  Wow!  What an unexpected blessing for this mama.

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Sure enough at stop number one, there were no parking places at the doctor’s office.  After dropping me off at the front door my daughter proceeded to look for one farther away in where we dubbed “The South Forty.” By the time she sauntered through the door  I had signed in and was talking insurance.

The wait for the Lab took longer than usual.  Today it did not matter as mother and daughter chattered away.  She told me tales of her family and how a stranger praised my grandson for his manners and character.  The stranger went on to reaffirm my daughter was doing a good job in her mothering.  Even though I knew this it was a beautiful thing to hear someone else noticed it, too.

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Finally I was called back and my daughter adjusted her long stride to match that of my short one.  I dread having bloodwork done because I am what they call “a hard stick.”  Cheerful conversation helped take my mind off of this.  My usually temperamental veins were cooperative and yielded blood easily.  Prayers answered.  Leaving my daughter hurried to deliver her van right to the door.  What a thoughtful daughter.

The remaining errands were routine but still much nicer because they were shared.  I even felt better physically.  Since I was required to fast, she decided a trip through the coffee shop drive through as well as another was in order.  We couldn’t go inside because groceries filled the back of her van.

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All morning we laughed, giggled, shared, and had a lovely time.  Ending in my driveway we settled in the van, talked, drank coffee, and ate miniature biscuits which we dipped in gravy.  My daughter said “you know what would make this perfect? If a deer came into the yard.”  That happens often.  She loves seeing all of the wildlife that grace our land, but I believe deer are her favorite.

It was already perfect for me.  I was happy, peaceful, joyful, and felt loved by my daughter and my Heavenly Father.  He provided this day and time which I really needed.  It was hard to leave the sanctuary of her van and our quality time.

Joy can be found in so many places and things.  For me, joy is spending time with my daughter.  Apparently it was spending time with me for her.  Later that night she texted me to say how much she needed our time together.

She has no way of knowing that while we sipped our coffee that I traveled back in time.  I recalled how close we have always been, my hopes and prayers for her, and realized she is the extraordinary woman I wanted her to be.  She is a wonderful Christian woman and mother.

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Please think about who needs you to bring joy into their lives.  Bless them today.  It doesn’t need to cost you much or anything.  A phone call, offering to chauffeur them on errands, a coffee date, or even sitting in a car chatting might bring them much joy.  It did me.  I am thankful for my daughter everyday.  God is so good.  Isn’t He?

Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God Celebrate Lit Tour and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on Celebrate Lit’s Book Tour for author Jungu Olobia’s book Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God.”  You will find information on this book and author here.  Be sure to enter to win the giveaways!

My Thoughts

Today’s lifestyle seems to have grown away from what is mannerly and polite.  Some children have no idea the correct way to act,  Author Jungu Olobia has written a book to help (if it will be read and absorbed).  It is a God glorifying, scriptural based book on manners and being considerate.

Author Olobia has penned an exceptional book that is a guide for everyone and not just children.  It explains and reviews family, social, and church etiquette and manners.  Scripture references are given. There are seventeen chapters in this informative book dealing with family interaction, church behavior, table manners, greetings, and so much more.  I learned things about other countries’ etiquette that I did not know.

Olobia has a lovely style of writing.  Her book is part memoir and part instructional manual.  I enjoyed reading about her life.  She sounds like a woman with a heart for God.

I highly recommend this book.  It would be glorious to see manners make a comeback.  It gets a 5 out of 5 stars from me.  I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit but these are my honest words.

About the Book

Book: Considering Others

Author: Jungu Olobia

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Living / Personal Growth

Release Date: March 4, 2019

Front cover Considering Others

Good manners and etiquette begin in the home, or wherever a child is taught or mentored. From an early age, children learn how to behave, and as they grow, how to interact in their relationships at school, church, and in their communities. Though etiquette varies between cultures, practicing good manners is a kindness that extends across cultures, because the way we treat one another matters. 

We want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but this practical, captivating book points readers to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners, clearly illustrating that the Bible is the Life Manual for good behavior that comes from God’s heart. 

From biblical examples to personal examples, reflection verses and practical steps, and prayers and Scriptures to pray over children, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God will help parents, teachers, and mentors shape and develop godly character and good manners in children so they may lead healthy, successful adult lives in their sphere of influence around the world. And there’s plenty of takeaways for adults too! 

 

Click here to get your copy!

 

About the Author

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Jungu Olobia is a wife and mother, with two degrees in business and informational technology. A Sunday school teacher for over sixteen years, she teaches children ages three to twelve. She enjoys volunteering in her children’s school and in her community. She and her pediatrician husband live with their two sons in Keller, Texas.  

 

More from Jungu

As parents and guardians, we want to raise and train our children in safe, healthy environments, but the daily encounters of a fallen world make it very challenging. Much has been written on good etiquette, but how many books point to Jesus Christ as the Lord and the Holy Spirit as the Teacher of good manners? After almost two decades serving and teaching as a Sunday school teacher, about a decade working in an IT position at a College, and with much encouragement from my beloved pastors and family, I wrote Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God.  Thank you so much for joining me today! It has been such a privilege and honor to be with you. We all love and care for our children very much, so thank you for allowing me to talk about my book, Considering Others: Good Manners to Glorify God. Writing my first book has been a walk of faith that has been both painful and joyous as I found out a lot more about my family history and how much I needed to pray!  Thank God, however, for His love and gift of His son, our Lord Jesus.

 Here is a question for us: What legacy do we want to leave our children?  Proverbs 13:22 tells us that good people leave an inheritance to their descendants. That scripture speaks to more than a financial or natural inheritance. It also speaks to passing on virtues that build character.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 14

Mary Hake, November 15

Vicky Sluiter, November 16 (Author Interview)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 18

Creating Relationship, November 19

Artistic Nobody, November 20 (Author Interview)

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 21

Texas Book-aholic, November 22

By The Book, November 23 (Author Interview)

janicesbookreviews, November 24

A Reader’s Brain, November 25

All 4 and About Books, November 26 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 27

Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Jungu is giving away a copy of Considering Others to two winners!!

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/edec/considering-others-celebration-tour-giveaway

Sometimes I Wake Up Grumpy….

Are you a morning person?  When the sun lights up your bedroom do you stretch and declare it a glorious day?  Perhaps not and grumble while burrowing under your pillow.  Some people need just 5 more minutes, which often turn into 45 minutes and they are still cranky.

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My husband and I are totally different morning people.  The old joke “Sometimes I wake up grumpy and other times I let him sleep” was written for us.  He loves his sleep and can get a bit irritable if it is interrupted.  After decades of awakening at 6:00 a.m. to go to work, he delights in sleeping “until he’s finished” as he puts it.  Being in the Army has something to do with it, too.

Me?  When the light shines and a wet nosed fur-baby greets me, I am ready to pray and get up.  Thanking God for the new day and safety of the night, I begin my morning prayer before my feet hit the floor.  The older I get the less sleep I seem to need.  Are you at this age yet?

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What is your relationship with mornings?  Are you thrilled with the endless possibilities of the new day?  Scripture tells us in Psalm 118:24 “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” No time like the present.  Get out of that bed and enjoy this gift from Abba.

The trajectory or path your day will take depends a lot on how you wake up or get up.  Have you ever encountered someone so crabby you asked if he “got up on the wrong side of the bed today?” B0B716FE-C11E-4A45-AD80-FD7DCDAC6997 Your and my day begins when we first open our eyes, stretch our arms or legs, and (hopefully) pray.  Then when we hop out (do you hop out or like I do gingerly get out) of bed, we are ready to tackle the day with strength from our Father.

Just because the day started grumpy, doesn’t mean it needs to stay there.  You are able to shake off that bad mood that began earlier.  You have the power.  Use it.  Trade in the frowns for smiles.

I hope you start your days happy and give smiles away generously.  If a cantankerous one slides in, exchange it for a happier one.  There will always be time for napping later.   Use today to bring glory to God.

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Gardening, Harvesting, and a Recipe

Summer is here.  It is a beautiful season!  Already it’s hot in Southern Indiana.  Are you ready to begin planting flowers or have you done that?  Do you like to garden, too?

Gardening is something that soothes me. Nurturing seeds and seedlings into plants is relaxing and produces resulting that can be seen.  The plants yield vegetables, fragrant herbs, or beautiful flowers.  I love it all.  Do you?  My grandparents on both sides gardened and it is in my blood.

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Of course, it takes care to get the desired results.  I can’t just scatter the seeds and hope everything works.  Seeds must be carefully planted and watered.  Fertilizing or feeding  helps give the plants nourishment to grow strong.  I will want to protect them from things seeking to destroy them by eating them.  Here we not only have bugs but critters like bunnies, groundhogs, and even deer that like to munch on tender young plants.  Most importantly, they will also need sun.  That will be beyond my control.  When the little seeds have everything they need, voila, we are rewarded with plants.

A couple of years ago I purchased yellow squash seeds.  I love yellow squash and have many recipes.  The seeds went in the ground and I made certain they had everything they needed to thrive.  I watered, fertilized, watched, and waited.  The seeds sprouted into three tiny plants.  Wow, I was happy.  They continued to grow and finally the yellow blossoms appeared.

Yellow squash dishes ran through my head for what would be first.  Would I have enough to share with others?  Yes, more blossoms formed.  I was excited.  Finally the flower turned into a vegetable.  Oh, no.  A green zucchini!  The seeds had been mispackaged.  We like zucchini, but not three more plants worth when one had been planted.

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My lesson was you reap what you sow.  I thought I was planting yellow squash but really all along had zucchini seeds.  I had a harvest of something I hadn’t anticipated.  Even though I thought I was doing everything right, one thing at the beginning spoiled everything.

How true is this in areas of our life?  We think we are doing something and put forth all of our energy to it.  When it is finished we find we were off track and are reaping something we had not expected?  It can be accidental like the seeds.  Someone else tripped me on that one.  Perhaps it is known but at the time it doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Ignoring someone in a store or not inviting someone to your party might seem innocent, but what happens later?

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Maybe we think our children aren’t watching how we treat some people, and grow up to mistreat them because we did.   Our work habits are excessive to provide for our family and now our family has no time for us.  Watch carefully what you sow so you don’t reap something unexpected.

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Been There, Done That, Let Me Help

The other day we were going somewhere new.  The address did not sound familiar and the GPS often is unreliable.  “Turn left” it tells me when there is no stree! My parents had been to our destination and offered for us to ride with them or follow behind.  It was so much easier going with someone who had already been there.

Having made the trip before us, my parents knew what to look for and what might go wrong.  They also knew where to turn to make the journey easier.  Traveling together allowed quality time to chat and catch up.  The drive which I was dreading turned out to be lovely and extremely enjoyable.

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The journey of life is exactly like that.  People who have travelled the same path can help us.  By giving us direction, tips from their journey or just going with us, others can chase anxiety away.  They can take our hand and walk beside us to let us know we have a traveling companion, a seasoned on.  Not only are they assisting us, but they are serving God.  Scripture says in Hebrews 6:10 “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

 

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Do you ever look to someone for counsel?  Someone who has gone through a tough situation and made it through with flying colors?  We need people to encourage us.  My sweet grandson Isaac is special needs and my daughter Vanessa is always offering support to other parents of special needs children.  Isaac is now seven so it is routine now, but she will never forget the trying first months.

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Sometimes I forget that I am serving God by helping others.  Do you?  We need to make it such second nature that we just do helpful things.  Chatting with someone on the phone recently we were able to offer encouragement to each other.  Taking a meal to a new set of parents brought tears to their eyes.  Offering to pray with someone immediately stunned them speechless, but they were very appreciative.

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We have all “been there, done that” so let’s take those experiences to serve Abba and someone here in need. It makes a great Lenten project for however often you decide.  Even if it isn’t for Lent, don’t ever give up doing good for others.

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Christmas Joy not Stress

IMG_0052Are you enjoying the Advent Season?  Is your life filled with joy or stress?  This time before Christmas should be a time to reflect and prepare our hearts for the great gift that our Heavenly Father sent to us…..His Son, Jesus, our Savior, God with us.   Sometimes it is hard to do amidst the hustle and bustle of buying presents, sending cards, making cookies, decorating and all of the other preparations we think we need to do.

One good thing that comes with age is wisdom.  I have realized that Christmas comes whether I have cookies baked and cards sent or not.  Plus, the world goes on.  This time of year isn’t about being stressed out and tired.  No, not at all.  It is about love.  God’s great, everlasting, unimaginable love for us.

I would think He would want us to be joyful and happy, spreading His love and light to others instead of grumbling and be anxious that we are too busy and do not have enough time to get everything done.  My friend, perhaps you are trying to do too much.  Relax.  Enjoy this season for what it is.  Let peace overtake you.

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What things might make this season easier for you this year?  Perhaps using gift bags instead of wrapping would free up time.  If you don’t have time for decorating like you usually do, that is okay.  As the saying goes “the prettiest Christmas decorations are my children’s faces” at home.  Dinner is another pressure point.  Go with paper plates.  Make it a pitch-in.  Order some of the food instead of cooking.  Take some things off of your shoulders so that you can be happy.  Your family will appreciate a happy you more than a fully decorate house.

Let’s examine the other side where you have everything under control.  Wonderful!  You are able to enjoy Christmas music and doing things with family.   Have you considered helping someone that is stressing?  Maybe offering to bake cookies or dessert would take a load off of their shoulders.  What about helping with errands or sending dinner one night to free up some of their time?  Your giving to them before Christmas could make a vast difference.

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Offer to babysit or wrap a neighbor’s gifts for their children.  That is a difficult task and would be most welcomed.  What things can you add to this list?

Christmastime should be a special season.  One to anticipate each year with joy.  Not one to dread.  It is a season of good will and peace.  Let those reign with love and joy.

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We are celebrating the birth of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  Read the story of His birth again.  Think about His humble beginnings.  Ponder the true meaning of Christmas.  Concentrate on Him and not the things of this world.  He will make your days merry and bright.