22 Degrees – The Importance of Clarifying Information
22 Degrees. Winter Storm coming. How could that be, I wondered, glancing outside at the beautiful day. Double-checking the weather, I realized it was for a state where I’d spoken, not where I live. Contemplating my reaction to “22 degrees” was a reminder of how easy it is to draw wrong conclusions. Could that be why Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24 that if a Christian has something against us, we’re to go to them and be reconciled; why He says in Matthew 18:15 that if we think a Christian has done something wrong, we’re to go to them privately rather than gossip about them? “Go” is the keyword in both cases. Rather than draw wrong conclusions, be a Christian who follows Christ’s counsel. Find more insights in my book, The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World at debbietaylorwilliams.
A few days ago I had a reality check. Was the woman in the mirror really me? What about you? Have you ever had a reality check about yourself, but rather than do something to correct a bad habit you continued in it? Is there help available to those of us who want to change? Yes. In Luke 24:49 Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit who would clothe His followers with power from on high. Talk about power dressing that affects not only us but our relationship with God and others. God knew we needed supernatural power to live out our faith. If you’ve not liked something you’ve seen about yourself lately, read Galatians 5:13-26, a great spiritual mirror. Then, pray to God to fill you with power from on high to walk out your faith. Find more tips in The Plan A Woman in a Plan B World and The Plan A Mom in a Plan B World.
On the Fringe
“Sit back. Don’t do anything. It sounds like you’re on the fringe.” Years ago my sister said that to me when I was about to do or say something I’d regret. David gives similar counsel in Psalm 37:7-9, saying, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evil doing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.” Choosing to not fret or be angry is not a lack of action. It’s taking the right actions – praying, waiting, trusting God. If you’re on the fringe, journal your thoughts and prayers in Prayers of My Heart Journal and trustingly wait for how God will provide.
You Ain’t Seen Nothin Yet
Have you ever attempted to describe something magnificent but no words sufficed? Certainly the apostle John must have felt this as he attempted to describe the ascended Lord Jesus Christ whom he saw. Revelation 1:12-16 records his attempt. ”someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” As good as John’s description, no doubt, we haven’t seen anything that can be compared to the Lord Jesus Christ. Are you ready to meet Him? If not, visit debbietaylorwilliams.com/meet-jesus.
“Baooon!” Requests and Thanksgiving
“Baooon! Baooon!” With a worried look, our two-year-old grandson turned his face toward me then pointed to the ceiling. “Baooon!” he repeated, pointing to his blue birthday balloon that had drifted to the vaulted ceiling. “I’m sorry, but Mimi can’t reach it.” “Baooon!” he determinedly pointed, fretfully looking at family members. Then, I noticed his daddy leave the room and return with an extension rod. Soon, the balloon was in my grandson’s hands and he was grinning ear to ear looking at his father. Are you fretting today? Are you looking for others to help you? Sometimes our Heavenly Father is the only One who can help us. Look to Him. Call on Him. If you don’t know what to pray, pray whatever is on your heart. You can also find “Prayers for Different Occasions” to help you get started. Whatever you pray, know that your Heavenly Father is listening and cares deeply for you.
What’s Dangling in Your Life
Some time ago a friend asked if she could borrow a purse. The next day when she returned it, I noticed the price tag dangling from it neither of us had noticed. I thought of the old show Hee-Haw and Minnie Pearl who wore hats with price tags dangling from them. If only my thoughts had stayed there. Instead, they turned to sin dangling from my life. Me, walking around with sin that is perhaps unnoticed by others, but that God sees. Rather than focus on a dangling price tag on a purse, my Heavenly Father directed me to be concerned about sin dangling from my life. What about you? Is dangling sin a problem in your life? Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “lay aside the sin that entangles.” Learn how to do that in my book, Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.
Abby and Signs of the Times
“Abby shakes her head all the time,” I commented to my husband about a dog we used to have. Hi. I’m Debbie Taylor Williams with UpLIFT. Keith and I spent several days discussing how Abby was shaking her head. Then, someone mentioned she might have an ear infection. We immediately took her to the vet who confirmed she did. We felt horrible that we had missed Abby’s sign to us. Signs are important and there is someone else who has given us signs that we don’t want to miss: Jesus. Matthew 24 records the disciples asking Him, “What will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus answered them. The signs are recorded in the Bible. Do we know them? Are we paying attention? Are we ready for Christ’s return? If you’re not sure, here are resources to prepare you for Christ’s return.
Put Your Oxygen Mask On First
Has it been a while since you’ve flown on a plane? doubt, when you fly, you’ll hear the announcement, “In the event of a drop in oxygen, put your mask on first, then assist your child.” Why are we told that? Because we can’t help someone if we’re gasping for air. The same holds true in life. Many are gasping for air. They’ve lost their financial altitude. They’ve had the breath knocked out of their career. They’re gasping for contentment and joy. We can only help others if we put on our oxygen mask, our spiritual oxygen mask, that is. The breath of Christ living through us, His Spirit energizing our lives. Learn how to put on the Lord Jesus Christ as Romans 13:14 instructs us in my study, “If God is In Control, Why Am I A Basket Case?” advises. Then, help others.
If It Looks Like A Duck
Have you read stories of horses or ducks to a child and then had the delight of seeing their expression when they see a real one? I had such an occasion with a grandchild. On the way to the park, I explained, “Ducks. Quack, quack.” Arriving at the park, I pointed, “There’s a duck!” Watching my grandchild’s face, I delighted at the moment he saw a live duck. Leaping from my arms, he ran toward the ducks then gazed at their white feathers and orange bill. What he’d been shown in books, he saw firsthand. We have never seen God, but Jesus has explained Him. He is clothed in radiance. His nature is love. Jesus is the exact radiance of God’s glory. Currently, we read about Jesus in the Bible, but one day, we’ll see Him face to face. And our eyes will widen far more than my grandsons did. Learn about God’s glory in my book, “Pray with Purpose, Live with Passion.”
Bye Bye Birdie
Have you ever had a bird fly in your house? Several years ago a bird flew into our home. Our lab, Abby, stalked then chased Birdie. Holly, our Cocker, chased Abby. I chased everyone…. two dogs and a bird. I finally managed to get the dogs outside, but not before Birdie was injured. Matthew 10:29 came to mind. “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.” As I pondered Birdie’s demise, I couldn’t help but note that it didn’t end well for her because she was in the wrong place. It caused me to think about how our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to be in the right place with Him and others. How can we do that? By walking by His Spirit. If you often find yourself like Birdie – in the wrong place with God or others, visit debbietaylorwilliams.com – Listen UP. Learn to walk by His Spirit.