Monday, March 3, 2014

Decide to Surrender

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Why do we have such a hard time with this one?  Raised in the South, I am aware of how stubborn, set in our ways, hard-headed, and opinionated people can be.  I alas suffer from some or all of these maladies.  Laying down my will for another's is hard - but the pain comes mostly from ego.  I, of course, think I know best and impose that knowledge whenever I can.

But what happens if the situation is not one I can control.  And I must, gulp, leave it in another's hands?  If that Other is God, it should be no problem.  Yet even in prayer, I find myself asking for what I want instead of what may be for the ultimate best.

Surrender comes with a price tag.  Every decision does.  But some costs are easier to pay than others.  Surrender to God.  You will never regret that decision.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Where Do Good Decisions Come From?

Decisions should come from the mind AND the heart.  One without the other is either too emotional or too cold.   Emotions warm up what our brain dictates and the brain pushes stop on the Panic Button.
When I was a young minister's wife, I did every job that was posted on the To Do list. I prepared communion, taught Sunday School, led Women's Bible Study, picked up the nursery laundry, emptied the trash, and gave the pews a once a week polish.  

Then a very wise person pointed out to me that (1) I wasn't passionate about some of the tasks I had taken on, and (2) I was depriving someone else of serving.  In a nice way, she informed me that I was being selfish.

Now that I am a little more mature in my walk of faith, I've learned to give any decision about service some time.  I also seek the advice of others, pray about the opportunity, and just breathe.  This little routine has resulted in more committed decisions and a manageable calendar.

Try my little decision making routine.  You may like it so much that you'll make it your own.  

Until next time, Sheila

 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spiritual Identity Theft

Often we don't think of decisions in conjunction with our identity.  But how we view ourselves is very important to our spiritual growth.  Christ died so that we could become children of God.  Our identity is tied up with His death, burial, and resurrection. 

If you need a boost for your ego, read Ephesians especially the first part of the book where Paul tells us what we have inherited from our Father.  Throughout the book he exhorts us to live as children of the light and finishes is off with reminding us of the armor God has provided.

Read it over and over until you believe it. Don't let the Evil One take away your place in the family.  The deceiver want to steal your credentials and leave you stranded, but we have identity that can't be stolen, can't be sold, lost, or forfeited.  Our identity is with Christ.

Make a decision to conduct yourself as one that has been bought with a price more extravagant than the world has ever known - the blood of the Maker.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Samantha Hoffman: Writing Tip: There Are No Absolutes

Samantha Hoffman: Writing Tip: There Are No Absolutes: I recently went to the Southeastern Writers Conference   (that's a picture at left of St. Simon's Island, where the conference was...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Decide to Give Yourself a Gift

This past week I was with 40 of my closest friends, those who know me best, and STILL like me.  They are my friends from Southeastern Writers Association.  I have been a member since 1983 and on the board for 10 years.

This was my first year back after retiring from the SWA board and I didn't know how I would feel.  But whatever qualms I had vanished as I was greeted with smiles, hugs, and handshakes.  It is wonderful to have those who accept you without any conditions.

This is the way it has been.  You can goof up, commit a faux pas, or any social boo boo and true friends forgive.  They even cheer for you as they did for me when I won several awards at my alma mater of writerdom.

And because I am all about decisions, here is one you should make.  Decide to give yourself a gift.  Someone said, "A friend is a gift you give yourself."  So lavish yourself with gifts of friendship.  It doesn't cost anything, but the gift of a friend is priceless.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Give Me Patience - NOW

I am afraid that most of us pray this way.  We want God to give us what we want, when we want it, and PRONTO.  That's not the way it works.

We wouldn't ask a person that rudely so why don't we use our best manners when it comes to the Creator, the Master of the Universe, and our King Forever?  I don't have the answer but I know that I am guilty and I suspect you are too.

Humility, patience, longsuffering. . . these are not traits that we like to hear about much less practice.  Ah but we must for our Lord practiced all of these and more.   Maybe that's why some of the pious Jews in Jesus' time put scriptures on their bodies to remind them.  Be patience.  Be loving.  Be kind.  Be available.  Be humble.  Be longsuffering.

And in our case. . . Be Christlike.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Barriers to Love

When I started writing 13 Decisions that will Change Your Life, I hadn't considered how many barriers there were to unconditional love.  As it turns out, there are many.  More seem to rear their heads every day.

Love is curtailed by distrust or mistrust.  We've all experienced betrayal and the bitterness it leaves.  Love is unable to live in an atmosphere of unforgiveness.  Roots of  malice burrow into our lives and take years of diligence to get rid of.

Love closely related to joy and a zest for living.  Neither is possible if a scimitar is poised over our head.  Purging grudges, putting away hard feelings, and defusing feuds unbars the road to love.  Unfortunately cleared pathways don't always stay clear, so this demolition must be a constant chore.   Don't put off your spring cleaning so love can blossom.