Tag Archives: Bible

When we need Encouragement

I don’t know about you but I get weary. When I get weary the negativity creeps in, which should not be the case. Nothing has changed except my energy level and attitude. The situation has not changed, God has not changed, and my attitude changes nothing … at least not in a good way.

Negative begets negative. 

When I get home from my week at my dad’s I just can’t face doing an effective job of my own housework. (Sad admission there.) But … this past week I was blessed to receive help from my youngest daughter who has time off work. She spent a few hours each day helping me clean my house, because it had become overwhelming for me. We went room by room, even decluttering a few things, and still have much to do. I knew it had become a weight on me, but after just the first room was done … I felt lighter! Really! I am excited to see how good it feels being in my house once it is all done. Most of my houseplants even got repotted and freshened up, but what do I do with the plants I no longer want?

Encouragement.

There are a few quotes I like that are encouraging with regard to what I said above.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris   (That one helps with decluttering.)

“The secret of contentment is knowing how to enjoy what you have, and to be able to lose all desire for things beyond your reach.” – Yutang Lin  (It seems this is basically saying to live within one’s means, and don’t accumulate things just for the sake of having them. As Paul of the Bible says: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” – Philippians 4:11 (KJV)  This is something I am still working on.)

“The one serious conviction that a man should have is that nothing is to be taken too seriously.” – Samuel Butler  (We really do take ourselves too seriously. I need to allow myself to laugh more and relax about things. When feeling it all is too much, be honest and admit it’s never as bad as it seems, so just wait a little longer; it will get better. These words, “Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle,” have helped me more than once. )

And if all else fails, lose yourself in a good book (or THE Good Book, The Bible) for awhile. Your life will still be there when you get back, but dealing with it just may be easier.

Yesterday I finished reading another novel which I will be reviewing soon. I hope you enjoy reading reviews. Eventually, my list will have dwindled down so that I might be able to get back into my own writing.

Also, I hope you sometimes check the menu at the top of the page. When I add things I don’t always make mention, so look particularly under Book reviews, Books I read this year, quotes for writers, writers’ helps

Today was a gorgeous day – hot, sunny, with a bit of a breeze. The blackflies loved me. (Tiny pesky little flies with big teeth, I think!) The good thing – it’s Spring! and … I must be sweet; I have lots of bite marks to prove it.   :/

Here is a clip of one of the best Spring sounds – peepers! You know, those tiny frogs that are a sign of Spring. I love to listen to them at home, their delightful peeping relaxes my soul. Interesting facts: The peepers that sing are the males enticing females; peepers live three years in the wild and grow to only 2.5 cm (1 inch).

Now I must stop scratching those bites I mentioned and start writing a review. Blessings to you and have a great week!

What have you found to be of encouragement to you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

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Book Review: Money and the Prosperous Soul by Stephen K. De Silva

Book: Money and the Prosperous Soul – Tipping the Scales of Favor and Blessing
Author: Stephen K. De Silva
Genre: Religious; Christian stewardship
Pages: 182, paperback
Price: $14.99 CND, $12.99 USD
Released: September 2010
Publisher: Chosen Books
My rating: An excellent book on stewardship and supernatural provision, well worth one’s time and study.

 

I received an advanced reading copy of this book from Library Thing in exchange for a review.

Had I realized what was in store for me on its pages, I would have read this book much sooner. Stephen De Silva writes the truths I have been needing to find, confirming some things I have understood but haven’t seen or known how to set in motion. He makes it very clear about prosperity and the lack of it – and why – especially dealing with the spirits of Poverty and Mammon.

Chapter titles are:
Purpose
Trouble With Money
Spirit of Poverty
Trust and Faith
Dreaming
Bound in Spirit
Spirit of Mammon
Dominion
The Art of Purpose

This is an excellent book, easy to read and understand. Stephen De Silva teaches biblical truth in a comfortable, sincere manner, explaining the spiritual problems that underlie financial ones. It is not the secret to immediate gratification, but lays out the steps to understanding the financial benefits explained in the Bible and how to get there.

For anyone struggling to handle their finances, or simply wanting to know how to live in the provision of God, this book shows the way. Money and the Prosperous Soul is also very suitable for group study.

This is a book I recommend if you want help in becoming financially successful.

You can find Money and the Prosperous Soul – Tipping the Scales of Favor and Blessing listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.


Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Do you enjoy the quiet … or are you afraid of it?

Today has been very quiet here.  Because my husband had to work all weekend – not his usual – and I had no way to church today, I sat at home and read my Bible for four hours in a quiet house.  No radio, no TV, no music playing — only quiet.  Delectable!  🙂

It is my habit to have the radio turned on most of the day – to listen to interviews and such once in a while, but mostly I listen to teachings and music on the Christian station.  Once today I turned it on, but only for a few minutes while I cooked and ate my breakfast, then off it went again.  And no TV at all today.  Not even set on a music station for ‘background’.  I didn’t even turn on my computer until the afternoon!  Now that is a biggie!

Do you know how tempting it was to turn on the radio while I was doing the dishes?  or later while having lunch or supper?  I resisted.  Why?  You know, I’m not even sure why I did that today.  It just was so peaceful here when I got up this morning, and since it is Sunday I decided to read for a few hours with no distractions.  Well, none except the little dog needing to go outside a couple of times, and wind and hail beating on the windows – which is a wholly different distraction.   Nothing major or constant, though.   Then I was enjoying the tranquility so much I stuck with it.  All day.
ALL DAY!

Have you ever done that?  Have you ever lived in a day of ‘quiet’ by choice?

I wonder why we think we have to always have noise going on around us – music, or constant talking, or something mindless .. as if we can’t stand our own company.  Are we afraid of the ‘aloneness’?  Do we avoid the quiet?  How does God get through to us when we aren’t allowing ourselves to listen?  And what about our own thoughts?  Do we even have any quality thinking time of our own?

Maybe reading is much the same thing except it is not coming at us in the form of noise from the outside.  But reading expands our minds, doesn’t it?  We do have to form our own images, they aren’t coming at us ready-made.  Hopefully we’re choosing good things to store in our brains because I believe it all blends together in there and comes out somehow sometime.  Maybe in the form of a bestseller!  😉

So, what do you think about all of the above?  And do you enjoy the quiet … or are you afraid of it?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings.  🙂

PS – at the time of writing this it was still Sunday but it will be just past midnight, so into Monday at time of posting.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Did you make resolutions?

Wow!  It is 2011 already!  HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!

First, thank you for your support in reading my ramblings here.  I appreciate you very much.  🙂

I had intended to post here for Christmas and the New Year, but I got overwhelmed with life and ‘stuff’ and couldn’t fit everything in.  I was busy with all the usual things, but since this is the season I fight depression I had a bit of a struggle right around Christmas.  Same as last year our two youngest daughters did not get home, and our two oldest daughters didn’t come out either but met us at my dad’s in early afternoon for our combined family dinner – only ten of us this year.  It was very quiet here all morning with just my husband and our daughter’s little dog.  Very unusual … the first time in all our years together that it has been just the two of us for Christmas.  I missed our girls.

A sad time for us was that my aunt (Dad’s sister) was dying, and she passed away December 28, her funeral being January 1.  That made for a rather rough end of 2010 and beginning of 2011 for my family.  Not much unlike thirteen years ago when Mum passed away December 30, her funeral being January 2.  Some years I get through the ‘anniversary’ just fine, but this year was not as easy.  I think much of it was that I felt sorrow for my cousins, and it brought everything back more intensely for me.

How was the Christmas season for you?  How did you celebrate the ‘holidays’?

On a lighter note … much to-do is made over New Year’s resolutions.  Several years ago I gave up making them officially, but each new year I plan and hope to “do better”.  This time I determined to ‘go through’ my house one room at a time to ‘fine tune’ things, and I have done one room so far.  I also have business goals to achieve, writing aspirations to focus on, continued publishing of Christian newsletter Valley Sunshine and members’ correspondence to answer.

Last year I did resolve to read more, which you know by the page I set up here – My “have read” book list (Dec 1’09 – Dec 31’10) – where I kept track of my progress.  Since that fun thing went quite well I set up a page for this year, too.  I will finish reading the books of the Bible and add to my list as many more books as I possibly can.  For some I will write reviews and I plan to interview authors as well.

All these are things that interest me that I want to do.  But — I have to remember not to stress myself out when I can’t keep up.  Right?

How is your reading coming along?  Have you been inspired to read anything you have seen mentioned here?  If so, I would love to know about it.  🙂

So, have you made any New Year’s resolutions/set any goals for 2011?

I wish for you a happy, healthy, accomplished 2011.

Thanks for reading, and .. Creative Musings!  🙂

Day 21: NaNoWriMo & PiBoIdMo

Sunday, Day 21 of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo:  Sunday is always a busy day for me, time away from writing, computer, home.  I got up early this morning and spent some time reading my Bible, then we got ready to go pick up our grandson to go to fellowship with me.  He enjoys the worship music and Sunday School. This morning he was very squirmy – his money for the offering kept falling out of his pocket, his papers and book (to keep him occupied if needed) fell onto the floor when he was enjoying the music, then his crayons followed suit so that he finally decided to pick them all up and sit there and colour.  That was nice for awhile.  🙂  He is so darling.

I think I neglected to mention in last night’s post that we got snow in the afternoon so that I was ‘encouraged’ to get out my winter boots.  It was cold today, icy and windy, so boots and winter jacket it was!  Looks as if winter weather has arrived.  (I’m not complaining but .. blah!  and brrr! and — blah!)

This evening (Sunday) I did not get into Valley Sunshine but I did work on my NaNo writing.   I’m continuing my wondering about how I am ever going to sort this story out and get it on paper (I’m writing longhand) in no less than 50,000 words before November 30 comes and goes, taking with it my last chance to complete this challenge for a win.  Completing is winning and I must complete! I did manage to squeak out 1298 words, taking my total count to 26525 and my completion up to 54%.  [just a note here: yesterday the counter finally showed my % and it was over 50% to 51%.  No big deal? Well, you try writing in this pressure cooker and see how much 1% point means!  🙂 ]

Tonight in my NaNo story there was another interesting little extra that got written in, another little thing that adds to the mystery and probably aiding in the final solving of it.  I think.  Maybe.  Quite possibly.  🙂

PiBoIdMo is not something I have to be concerned about anymore since I met the goal, but I am still trying to come up with an idea a day until that challenge ends.  Today’s was not coming until just past midnight, after I had posted my word count for NaNoWriMo, but I did get an idea which I’m counting for Sunday’s.  For some reason I remembered a young bluejay that was snubbed by his siblings .. and I had my story idea.

Have a great week.  What’s on your agenda?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: Out Live Your Life by Max Lucado – (not what I expected)

Awhile ago I joined BookSneeze.com and spoke for Max Lucado’s new book Out Live Your Life ... You Were Made To Make A Difference.   In exchange I am to write a review, post it here and on some place like Amazon.  So, here is my review.

Out Live Your Life

I am not sure what I expected – but this book wasn’t it.

Perhaps I thought Max Lucado would be offering something personal to me, telling me how to come out of blah living, rise up out of the occasional doldrums, and get a new and exciting perspective on life.  Instead he creatively reminded me of how good I have it in this part of the world, and how so many are lacking in the comfort things that this world offers.  He reminded me of my comfortable Christianity, and of the spiritually depraved, and of those who hunger to know God, and of those who dare to know Him in places where Jesus is not welcome.

Max challenged me to look beyond my supposed needs to consider once again the needs of others and what more I can do to help make another’s life a little more bearable.  I have often thought that if we each were to make a positive difference in one other person’s life – what an impact and growing influence it would have on our world.  Max gives many simple examples of how to do that, never straying far from the word of God.

So, even though this book wasn’t what I expected, it is more, and what I needed to read.   Max Lucado’s writing style doesn’t disappoint.  This book will take you beyond your own narrow space in the world and open to you a panoramic view that will broaden your horizons.  If you really pay attention, put time and thought into each chapter’s study questions in the back, and seek God’s direction for where your focus should be – you can out live your life.  In so doing you will find excitement through making a real difference in this world, one person at a time, in Jesus’ name.

You can find Out Live Your Life ... You Were Made To Make A Difference listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

 

Have you read this book yet?  Any thoughts?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 


Choices and computers

It has been five weeks since my last post! In April, my computer did the closest thing to a crash without it being a complete one; I’m still getting it back in order. It was disappointing to lose some things, mostly writing contacts and information. The upside of this computer crisis is that having to reload programs has given me the newest updated ones, and introduction to some great new-to-me programs.

Free advice regarding anti-virus programs: First, BUY one! Second, ONLY use a free one to test it using their limited time free trial, then buy it if you like it. I learned the hard way that free ones do not have enough of the necessary ingredients to protect your computer, regardless of what you think.

I had been working on a story I’d written for children, and revising it in preparation for submission to a magazine. With the ‘crash’, once I found my story again it would be a rush job to get it sent by the April 30 deadline. After all that effort I made the decision to set it aside. Maybe one day it will go somewhere and even be accepted. Now, in fact, I am not sure what I am supposed to do about my writing. Does it sound as if some discouragement has sneaked into the picture?

Do you ever get into the place of not being sure what you really are supposed to be doing? I remind myself of Jonah in the Bible. Remember him? God told him what He was to do, Jonah didn’t agree and ran the opposite way, only to be hauled up short. You know the story; he came around eventually. Now, I’m not saying I deliberately said no to God, but I may have wandered off on my own brilliant tangents instead of following closely to His plan. Not that my choices are/were bad ones, they just may not be the right ones or God’s best for me.

My business website is under scrutiny now, too; I’m considering revising my business goals.

Maybe it’s because Spring is here in Nova Scotia – or maybe I am getting wiser?? hmmm

What do you think? What is happening in your life? Do you ever go through this kind of thing, and if so .. what have you learned from it? Tell me about it!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂