Thursday, May 25, 2006
Tammy, I'll email you and I'll add your link to my blog this afternoon!
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Mark 12:41-44 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
I was reading this the other day and realized something – when Jesus was watching people put their money into the treasury, He wasn’t just watching the people ~~ He was watching HOW they cast in their money.
The rich people were just casting in their money. It probably wasn’t a major sacrifice because they were rich…they were just giving of their abundance. But that wasn’t the cast the poor widow.
We can learn so much from this lady! While the rich were tossing their money in because they felt they had to, Jesus said the poor woman gave more than all of the others. This was because she gave from her heart. Her heart was in the right place.
Giving ~ just like everything else we do ~ is supposed to be a gift from the heart. If someone gives you a GIFT it's not because they have to, but it's because they WANT to. That is the kinds of gifts God wants us to give. He wants us to give from our hearts, in everything we do.
My prayer for each of us today is that we are all giving from our hearts – not out of obligation or duty, but truly out of love and desire.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
We went on a 5 mile walk today, so this verse from our daily Proverb really stuck out to me!!
Our walk started at our house this morning (okay, actually we started out on our bikes.) From there we rode over to the house of one of our church members. That is where our walk really began. We left their house and walked to the Bismarck Elks Club. This was where the MS Walk began this morning.
The husband of the family that we met up with this morning has MS. This year we got several of our church members together, all wearing our church t-shirts and walked the walk together. It was a great time to fellowship and to show this family that we are there with them through all that they are going through.
We left the Elks lodge and the first part of our walk took us past the Bismarck zoo. It was a great way to start everything off. The kids were entertained with all the animals and it allowed
for a slower start for those of us that are still
trying to get in shape!!
After we passed the zoo it was on along the path that goes by the Missouri River. It was so beautiful!!! Since spring is finally here everything has turned green, trees and flowers are blooming, and birds are EVERYWHERE!!
After we went past the river we walked through a park and made our way back to the Elks Club. There we shared some pizza and fruit and headed on our way back home. After getting back to our friends house and getting our bikes we came home and COLLAPSED!!!!
And to think - we did all that before noon!!! No wonder I'm ready for a nap now!!!
Friday, May 19, 2006
Proverbs 19:13 A foolish son is the calamity of his father: and the contentions of a wife are a continual dropping.
Being a pastor’s wife I see a lot of family issues that are truly heartbreaking. One of those things is a husband who hates to go home and a wife who has nothing good to say to him when he is there. They has no joy – not in their marriage, their home, or in their own hearts. Pretty soon it shows in the kids too.
After a while no one can say a nice word to each other, no one gets along, and no one wants to do anything together. They are nothing more than a group of people living under the same roof.
I don’t ever want that ~~ for my family or any other family. There is so much misery in our world today. Why not try to make our homes a place of refuge. A place where we long to spend time, with people we long to be with. Some times it takes more work than other times, but it is SO worth it.
My heart just breaks every time I see a family falling apart. My prayer for each person that reads this today is that each one of you will do something to bring a smile to the faces of those you live with. You’ll be amazed at what will happen…one smile will lead to two smiles, two smiles will lead to a laugh, and soon you will all be enjoying your time together.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I'm just so impressed, because we have some really good things on the menu this week, yet groceries cost me a lot less than normal.. Here is what we are eating this week.....
Wednesday ~~ French Fry Casserole with fresh veggies and dip
Thursday ~~~ Chicken w/ artichoke hearts, pasta, fruit, & French bread
Friday ~~~~~ Meditteranean fish with rice pilaf
Saturday ~~~ Crock pot ravioli, salad, and corn on the cob
Sunday ~~~~ Honey mustard chicken (crock pot) and baked potatos
Monday ~~~ BBQ - ribs, burgers, and veggies!!!!
Tuesday ~~~ Eating out with friends
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
I think all of us have had times when we just feel so weak and feel like we just don't have the strength to go on. Those times are hard and tiring, but then a day comes when we are renewed and we are given strength from God.
When we get that strength ~ that hope ~ it feels like we've got the wings of an eagle and we're flying high. Our strength is renewed, our spirit is renewed and we feel like we’re ready to fight the Devil with a squirt gun!! (That was one of my preacher’s sayings…LOL)
Things get tough, and some things are tougher than others, but we just have to wait upon and trust the Lord. When we do, we will find that time where we are renewed and there really is no feeling that can compare to that moment, especially after a long trial. Whatever you're going through right now even if it feels hopeless, there is hope and there will be a time of your renewing and there will be a time where you will be delivered and when that time comes you will find joy unspeakable.
Think about it, if you were always strong and you never felt weak and you always had that strength, would you appreciate it? Would you even think about where it came from?
When we're weak we hope and wait for this strength to come from the Lord and when we get it we are ever so appreciative for it, but if we always just had it we couldn't appreciate it. If we always had it we would just think that it's normal and that it is of ourselves and not of God, but this strength comes from God!
It is the tough times that we go through that bring glory to God in our deliverance and our renewing of strength. It is when we long for something that we appreciate it so much when we get it and thank God for it.
Monday, May 15, 2006
Matthew 15:18 “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.”
So, this morning we talked about this subject. We talked about how if a person claims to be a follower of Christ they need to make sure that they do not speak in an evil, unkind, or ungodly manner.
The way we speak is one way many people know what kind of person we are. If we speak evil, people think evil of us and that doesn't make us a very bright light for the Lord. If we speak like the world, we are a part of the world, but if we speak as Jesus, spoke and do as He did, then we are not of this world, but of God!
What comes out of our mouths comes from the treasures of our heart. If we speak evil, our heart also has that evil within it. If it comes out of your mouth, it is coming from somewhere and that somewhere is the heart!
You can often tell how close someone is to God, by what comes out of their mouth. A person really close to God will really hate to speak any evil. Why? Because that person will feel like he has let down the Lord. Also, the closer you are to God, the purer your heart is.
The power of the tongue holds life and death. With our tongue we confess that Jesus is Lord and we are saved! Also with our tongue we can deny Jesus and be a horrible testimony to those who hear us.
The lesson for today…watch what you say! Keep a clean heart and mind. Your words reflect your heart!
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Proverbs 13:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
To the world this verse may make no sense. In today's times it seems everyone is out to see how much they can get with the littlest effort of work - but according to God's Word that isn't how it works.
If you truly want to be rich in this world (and I'm not just talking about money and material possessions) than start giving to others. The more you give to others the richer your life will be....God promises!!!!
Over this last week I have been richly blessed by giving. We had a family move to our town and join our church. They moved here from California and they didn't bring anything but their clothes, pictures, and important papers with them. They got an apartment but literally had NOTHING in it. Throughout this week I have been finding things to furnish their home - boy, do I LOVE Freecycle.com!!!!
This family now has a love seat, a beautiful upholstered chair, a coffee table, a bed, and 4 book shelves - plus some extras to pretty everything up. They are thrilled and so I am. I have been richly blessed this week and so have they - and so has everyone in the community that has donated stuff for them.
All those people that gave could have chosen to hold on to those things and felt that they were "rich" because of all the "stuff" they had - but instead they gave it to someone who needed it more ~~~ now we all feel richer!!!!
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Friday ~~~~ SLOPPY JOES & TATER TOTS
Saturday ~~ CHICKEN PARMESSAN OVER NOODLES
Sunday ~~~ PICNIC IN THE PARK / BBQ AFTER CHURCH
Monday ~~~MARINATED CHICKEN (CROCK POT)
Tuesday ~~~TACO SALAD
Wednesday~CROCK POT RAVIOLI
As you can tell, I love to cook in my crock pot. I actually have two, so that I can have two things going at once. My reason is that I do so much of my household stuff early in the day ~ including cooking dinner.
I try to plan the menu around events going on throughout the week and everyone's schedules. Many times my boys need to take dinner with them to work, so on those days I try to plan things that are easy to transport and heat up later (such as the sloppy joes tomorrow.)
I love seeing people's weekly menus - anyone who wants to share theirs with me please feel free. I'm always looking for new things to prepare. Email them to me if you would like to:
Proverbs 11:1 A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight.
When I first got married I was determined to make my new home perfect. Back then the only way I could think of to do that was to clean and clean and clean and clean. I look back now on those first few years and it is pretty much all I remember doing. I literally became obsessed with it – vacuuming and dusting 2 or 3 times a day, not to mention everything else I could find to clean. It really was very pathetic.
It all came to a screeching halt one afternoon though. I had run out of things to clean that day and was desperately searching for something. I looked at our long hallway floor and decided it wasn’t shiny enough. So, after my baby was down for his nap I got out a cleaning towel and got to work on that floor. It took me about 2 hours but by the time I was done that floor it was the shiniest thing you would ever see.
Jeff got home from work a little bit later and took his work boots off and started down the hall to put them away. He took one step on the hall floor (in his socks) and slid the rest of the way down ~ bumping walls and finally ending up on his behind at the other end of the hallway. When he got up he was NOT happy. (That was the day I found out that its not a good idea to shine the floor with Pledge furniture polish!!)
I said all that to say this. There was a false balance in my home. I had become so obsessed with cleaning that our home was not a delight any more. Jeff wasn’t happy (especially that day) because all I ever did was clean and made him feel guilty if things got messed up and I wasn’t happy either – because my focus wasn’t right.
I had to learn that a "perfectly" spotless house was not what made our HOME. I had to find a balance between cleaning and living. As I found that balance, our home became a delightful place to be. We had fun and loved being there and loved being together.
Cleaning may not be where your balance is off, but many times if you take time to look you will find that something in your life is out of balance and stealing the joy in your life the God wants you to have. Take time today to see that the scales are even ~ that you don’t have something out of balance (honestly, too much of a good thing can become bad!!)
Jeff and I laugh about my Pledge hallway now, by the way, but only because we’ve got a balance and a delightful home.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
I did want to share one special blessing we had this evening though. We had the Fuller family here, from Victory Baptist Church in Milton Florida. They sang for us (I could have listened all night) and presented their church's Bible publishing ministry - Victory Baptist Press. What a wonderful evening we had.
I will share more tomorrow - and continue on with some thoughts on tomorrows Proverb.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Have you ever had company coming that has you so excited you couldn’t get ready soon enough? I remember when my grandparents were coming to visit us ~ I would have the house ready 2 days before they were due to arrive. The day they were supposed to arrive I was up early making sure everything was just right, getting the kids ready, and preparing a nice meal for them before hey arrived. I was READY and I was EXCITED.
Monday, May 08, 2006
Jamie tagged me to tell 14 things about my Mom. My question to her is why 14?? That's an unusual number don't you think??? LOL
That's okay, Jamie ~~ you don't have to explain. I know someone started this before it got you to you!!
14 THINGS ABOUT MY MOM
1. She love her girls with all her heart.
2. She grew up in Southern California.
3. She is always there when I need her.
4. She still knows how to make me feel better when I'm sick.
5. She can't cook!!!! I say that lovingly - she'd agree with me!
6. She has a dog named Casey that sleeps under the covers.
7. She loves to decorate her house and rearrange furniture.
8. She has 6 grandchildren (all from me.)
9. For the first 12 years of my life it was just her and I - and no matter what the circumstances were she made every Saturday that I can remember a play day for the two of us.
10. She moved to North Dakota to keep our family closer together and watch her grandchildren grow up.
11. She works at a hotel.
12. There isn't a craft around that she isn't good at.
13. She loves to sew and quilt.
14. Her favorite flowers are lavender roses.
Since I love to go barefooted this is a perfect "Wacky Holiday" for me to observe! I suggest you all go get a pedicure, slip on your favorite pair of flip-flops and spend the rest of the day letting your feet get so air!! They'll thank you for it, I'm sure.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth:
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:
29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:
30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
31 Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.
32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways."
I love this portion of Proverbs 8, because although it is speaking of Wisdom, it is the PERFECT PICTURE of Jesus Christ.
Wisdom ~ like Christ ~ existed even before the earth did; thus Wisdom is eternal and was there in the beginning. We know by this statement, that the Bible is saying that Wisdom is more than a wise method of doing things, but rather, Wisdom is actually the person of God Himself. Just as the scripture refers to God as Love, here, God is referred to as Wisdom. When we are instructed to follow the ways of Wisdom, we are being instructed to follow the ways of God.
This portion of scripture is also a beautiful description of the creation of the world and is in perfect harmony with the account in Genesis 1. I won't Put the whole text here, but take the time to read Genesis 1:1-10 with this portion of Proverbs 8. It is wonderful!!
It is a very sad thing today that there are groups out there trying so hard to do away with the Biblical creation of the earth. However, many of these theories are being proved false as new discoveries are made, and new evidence is being brought to light that gives credence that the Bible is true in its record of how the earth was created. It is foolish to believe that the earth just happened or that it evolved from some "blob" and that a "Big Bang" just happened, and out of one of those things, there suddenly came order, and the human race was born. The universe did not create itself. There was not just a chance encounter with a passing star that caused our solar system to be set in perfect order, with the rotation of the planets in their exact orbits, so that they do not collide with each other. No ~ only God create such a well organized universe!!
Jeff loves to study creation...he actually teaches college courses on Creation Vs. Evolution. He can show people how the earth is positioned at just the right distance from the sun, so that is not too close to burn up, nor too far away so that it would freeze. That didn't happen by accident! Look at what God says about our world:
Genesis 8:22: "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Just looking at creation itself, is evidence of a designer behind it. This Master Designer was God. Wisdom ~ Jesus Christ ~ was there when He created the solar system, the earth that contains mountains, oceans, lakes, forests and fields. God even set the boundaries of the oceans; they are there by His command, as it says in Proverbs 8:29.
We're not here by accident. There was much wisdom put into not just the world we live in, but into the live we lead. God wants our lives to be patterned after Him, godly examples to the lost around us. Today when I go through this Proverb will my children I want them to see just how important Godly Wisdom really is.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Proverbs 7:2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
As I was reading this verse this morning one thing that I thought about was how the world's view of things and God's view of things are so different. Most people think of laws as things that are harsh, restricting, or ways of punishing them ~~ but that isn't how we should look at God's law. It should be the "apple of our eye" - precious, meaningful, and adored!!
So, what about you....do you look at God's law and see it as the apple of your eye?
Saturday, May 06, 2006
6 Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:
9 How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?10 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:11 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man."
I am such a morning person!! I LOVE to be the first one up ~ alone in my living room, watching the sun come up and enjoying a hot cup of coffee. To me, sleeping in is staying in bed until 7:30 a.m., because usually I am up between 5 and 6. But, the rest of my family thinks I’m crazy!! Around 9 or 9:30 they will start to stir. And by 10 they are all up and about ~ and of course, by then I have been up for hours!
Today’s Proverb always makes me think about my family and I and the differences in our sleeping patterns, because it warns us about being lazy and wanting to do nothing but lay around and sleep. My family isn’t that way (for any of you beginning to wonder) we are actually very active and busy ~ just not all at the same times. I do must of my work before they are up, but by about 9 p.m. I am done! Jeff and my older boys are just the opposite ~ they are going strong then. Jeff does his best studying after the kids and I go to bed.
One thing though ~ I don’t ever want my children to be what Solomon calls a sluggard. What does the word "sluggard" mean? It comes from the same root word that our word "sluggish" comes from. It has the meaning of one being slow or lazy; actually a habitually lazy person. In these verses there is a comparison made of those who sleep, because they dislike work, and those who are workers and provide for their house.
In verse 4 Solomon isn’t talking about what time you get up after getting a good night’s sleep. He is talking about someone who wants to sleep their time away and choosing to be IDLE instead of being productive. Do a study sometime on the word IDLE in the Bible. God has NOTHING good to say about it.
Do you know that the ant is one of God's hardest working creatures? So, it is no surprise that Solomon tell us to use the ant as our example of a hard worker. We are told to be wise like the ants. They work hard without having to have a guide, overseer, or ruler standing over them. Some people only work when they have to or when somene is watching them.
I don’t ever want to the Lord to say to me, "How long will you sleep?" or "When are you going to get to work?" There is too much that needs to be done and not enough of us to do it. Make sure your awake today and ready to go to work at whatever it is that God has for you to do. There are things we must do in our lives, things we need to do for our families, things waiting to be done for the Lord. We need to ask the Lord for His strength to do them all, just as Jesus declared He must do the work of His Father.
John 9:4: "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work."
Friday, May 05, 2006
2 That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.
3 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
As most of you know, I am a mom of teenage boys (although Jeffrey just turned 20 yesterday, so that’s one less teenager.) And since all of my kids just had their birthdays in the last month and a half I have spent a lot of time thinking about them getting older. One thing I can say is that Jeff and I have always worked on teaching our children to live in a way that is pleasing to the Lord – and so much of what we have been teaching them comes out of Proverbs.
There is much wisdom in the book of Proverbs; especially for the age that we live, when there is so much emphasis on sex, which has led to so many acts of adultery and fornication. One of the miracles of the Bible is that it speaks to all generations and all people. Those things that Solomon was teaching in the Proverbs hundreds of years ago are still so relevant today.
Sin in the heart of man has been our downfall from the time of Adam and Eve ~~ and our children are just as susceptible to falling into sin as they were.
Even though Solomon is addressing the above verses to a son, the same warning is applicable to my daughter. All of our children need to be taught discretion. They need to know that there will be those of the opposite sex who will try to entice them and lure them into sin.
Read through all of Proverbs chapter 5. It lays out a progression of events that leads to destruction. Then, think about how many times you have heard of people in the news who have fallen into that progression. Temptation lures people by the pleasure that it offers. But verse 4 says, “But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a twoedged sword.”
Moses gave up the pleasures he could have had as the Prince of Egypt and chose rather to suffer with the people of God. He could do this because he had eternal vision and knew God would reward him later.
Hebrews 11:24-26: "By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; 26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward."
The Bible tells us to flee from fornication. It warns young people not to get themselves into situations that would entice them to sin. It tells them to stay away from the wrong crowd.
This is advice that we all need to follow ~ not just younger people. The devil has destroyed many marriages because as people grow older they allowed themselves to be lulled into believing it could never happen to them.
Many honorable men have lost their honor, and are in the news today, as their illicit affairs have been exposed. If they have forgiving mates, they may still have their marriages, but their reputations are permanently damaged.
Sin is progressive, just as on the positive side, righteousness is progressive. Each day, we will become more like our Lord by obeying His Words, or each day, we will become more wicked by giving into sin. Each day I pray that my children will follow the steps that God has for them. That they will not stray off that Godly path. God doesn’t want anyone to end up with a wasted life. The choice is ours.
Deuteronomy 30:19: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Proverbs 4:13 - Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
From the time I was just a little girl I was a very stubborn child, to say the least. Over the years I’ve been told I was “driven,” “focused,” and even “obsessive” about things. But really it comes down to stubbornness.
I never wanted to admit that I could NOT do something, or that I needed the help of anyone else. I remember when Jeff and I were living in Minot. We had a queen sized waterbed and a double pedestal base and I decided I wanted to rearrange the bedroom ~ but I did NOT want to drain that bed!! Well, I did move that bed…completely full of water. I used my back and my feet, wedged myself between walls and furniture and pushed it completely across the hard wood floors. (By the way…I don’t recommend doing this.)
I was so stubborn I wouldn’t wait for Jeff to help, I wouldn’t ask for help, and I ended up really hurting myself. Over the years I have had to learn that that kind of attitude is sin.
1 Samuel 15:23 says, “For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry…”
God wants us to ask for help, from Him and from those He has put in our life. I had to learn that I couldn’t do everything on my own (and honestly, I don’t want to.) I also don’t have to always do everything perfectly or have everything perfect around me.
Over the past years, I have come to the realization that it is okay to ask for help, and that receiving instruction is so important. God gave us His Word so that we can have all the instructions we need while we’re here on this earth.
But just having those instructions is not enough, as the verse I am looking at in Proverbs today shows us. Solomon hit the nail on the head when he instructed us to "take fast hold of instruction, and let her not go." So many of the daily problems in our lives would be much easier to overcome if we humbled ourselves and spent time studying our “Instruction Manual.” No matter what the situation there is always that one constant, infallible source of instruction: God's word.
Accepting or looking for instruction does not make a person any less wise or knowledgeable. It takes much more wisdom to seek instruction, to take fast hold of it, and to never let it go ~~ a lesson that I have learned the hard way many times.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
There are so many things in life that happen that we just can't explain. Usually these are the things that are completely beyond our control. But today as I was going through Proverbs I really took some time to think about this. God tells us right here in His Word that we are not to lean unto our own understanding, but instead we are to put our trust in Him.
I have two children waiting for me in Heaven. Manasseh died shortly after he was born and Steven died when he was 12. In my own understanding I can't explain why that had to happen. If I had trusted in my own understanding through those times I think I probably would have lost my mind....literally!! But instead my family and I put all our trust in the Lord ~~ He is what got us through those times and showed us that "... all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
Maybe you have lost someone you love. Maybe you're dealing with the loss of your own health or that of a family members. Or maybe you've lost a job or had a dream that hasn't come true. The list can go on and on.
How many times have you found yourself trying to lean on your own understanding ~ trying to figure things out on your own? When things don't go the way we think they should, we try to pull them apart, to dissect them, to bring about some kind of understanding. I can't tell you how many times I have heard someone say, "If I could only understand why this happened, maybe I could learn to accept it and to heal the hurt." It doesn't work that way...I know that from personal experience. Trusting God and leaning on Him is what will help heal the hurt.
It wasn't until I was willing to truly give my WHOLE heart to God, to lean on Him, and to let Him direct my paths, that I finally began to understand and heal. I had to get my focus on God ~ not on myself or my loss, but on God. I had to see that He is the only One that truly understood my hurt, thus, He was the only One to heal my broken heart.
Things may happen in your life that you don't understand or that hurt so much you wonder how you can possibly go on. Trust in the Lord during those times (in all times actually, but even more then), lean on Him (He will carry you through), and let Him direct you on the path of healing.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Proverbs 2:1-5: "My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; 3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; 4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God."
I marvel at the fact that every time I read my Bible I find something new. I read a proverb a day, every day…and God always shows me something different each time I go through them.
You see, if we desire to understand what the "fear of the Lord" means and find out about the things that God knows, then we must do certain things to make this happen.
First of all, and most importantly, is to receive God's Words and act on them. We must make daily Bible study an important part of our lives. As we study God's Word, and ask God to give us the understanding of it, we will find that the words on the pages of the Bible will become alive to us.
Many times, I have been reading along and suddenly it is like the words simply leap off the page and into my heart. At other times, I have read the same scripture over and over, and I really didn't understand it, so I would just read past it, wondering in my heart what it meant. I pray and ask the Lord to show me what it meant. That’s what lifting up our voice for understanding means.
Many times the Holy Spirit will bring to my mind another Scripture that will shed light on the one I am meditating about. But just knowing the Word of God is not enough; I must obey the commandments that are written in it.
Look at what these few verses are saying…God says if we seek for His knowledge like searching for silver or hidden treasures, we will find it. We have to search, dig out, and study it – and all that takes time and a willing heart!!We can’t approach the Bible like it is a common novel. It is a Holy Book!! If we want to gain His knowledge we must first learn the fear of the Lord and have a heart that is tender to all that He has for us. If we search through the pages of His Word we will find gems of truth and treasures of gold!!!
Monday, May 01, 2006
Managing any organization takes a great deal of work, but managing a virtual organization adds a whole new element to managing. Most organizational leaders have the ability to talk to their employees face-to-face. They can read their body language, their facial expressions, and see their work style. Those managing virtual employees and virtual teams don't have the ability to do those things, so they need to rely on other indicators and means of managing their teams efficiently.
Kevin L. McMahan wrote a paper entitled, "Effective Communication and Information Sharing in Virtual Teams". In that paper he gave 17 pointers for managing virtual teams. I am sharing them here...
- Engage the team in setting expectations about behavior and performance. Record the team's decisions and commitments to each other.
- Clearly define member responsibilities.
- Use rigorous project management disciplines to ensure clarity.
- Consider servant leadership exposure and training for potential team leaders.
- Determine, as a team, how conflict will be addressed and resolved.
- "Proactive behavior, empathetic task communication, positive tone, rotating leadership, task goal clarity, role division, time management, and frequent interaction with acknowledged and detailed responses to prior messages."
- Strive for a good faith effort in complying with the team norms and commitments, be honest in team negotiations, and don't take advantage of others or of the situation.
- Encourage social communication that accompanies task completion at the outset and be enthusiastic in e-mail dialog; look for predictable, substantial, and timely responses to members.
- Provide more formal communication than in traditional same time/same place teams.
- Keep communications in a shared database for use in new member orientation.
- Focus knowledge management attention on the tacit as well as the explicit knowledge.
- Document the tacit and embed the process into the organizational structure.
- Record and share the "context" when sharing information, preferably with a view toward future audiences.
- Match desired activities with performance evaluation factors; reward the desired performance.
- Build information sharing (knowledge management initiatives) into the organization's strategic plan.
- For a team crosscutting an organization's departmental boundaries, develop an information system to help translate terms in the subject disciplines.
- Encourage and provide feedback on all team activities; listen to it!
- Design and integrate tools that fit the team environment; don't force the team to adapt its behavior to the "latest" software.
I had several other links (in the blog that is floating who-knows-where), but through the blogs of several of my other classmates that information has already been shared. So...I will spare you all from reading the same information twice. Thanks for a great class my fellow students and I look forward to seeing everyone's presentations.
One thing I will be doing starting today is adding an extra 15 minutes of structured exercise to my day. Do you know that 3 out 4 ladies will suffer from some form of heart problems, but adding 15 minutes of activity to your day can reduce that risk by more than half???? That's worth moving for!!!
Secondly, I am going to be studying the book of Proverbs with my children this month. One Proverb each day. So, I can't think of anything better to share with my friends than lessons learned from God's Word. Join me each day to see what my family and I dig up in the Book of Proverbs!!
- To increase learning
- To Attain wise counsel
- And to understand a proverb and the interpretation of it
Here is the nugget of treasure we found from Proverb One today:
The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;
Solomon was second of three sons of King David. He succeeded the throne at a young age; between 16 and 18 years old. It was David’s desire to build a temple to God; a permanent structure for the arch of the covenant. A place they could come and worship and sacrifice honoring God. Yet it was Solomon who was selected by God to build it. David collected the materials and Solomon built the temple.
A specific quality was found in Solomon that God cherished.
God came to Solomon in a dream and asked him “What shall I give thee?”
Solomon answered, Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?
No greater man has ever displayed the wisdom of Solomon and his words of wisdom are there for us to learn from and to see that the Lord is good to them that follow Him.
Not only did he have wealth, he had intelligence and his influence was captivating. He spoke thousands of proverbs and songs, and understood the deep secrets of God. People would come from all over the world to hear the Wisdom of Solomon ~~ and we can do the same by studying the book of Proverbs.
Will you join me this month??