Archive for February, 2012

Girls With Grace Ministry

This is a ministry for teen girls to help prepare them for the Lord’s work.  This preparation could be for working full time in the  ministry  or  for assisting the Pastor’s Wife with her duties.

Grace Hardy presented this ministry at a ladies meeting that I just attended.  Results of her intensive training with the girls that she trained were phenomenal. Grace was gracious enough to give me the notes that she used for her presentation.

Girls With Grace Ministry
After serving as a pastor’s wife for 30 years, there are many things that I don’t miss about the position. However, there are some things that I do miss and one of those is what I’m about to tell you about. It was not until my last few years at Eastland that I formed a group of young ladies between the ages of 15-18 years of age who showed an interest in ministry. The girls chose to name the class Girls with Grace.

Theme Verse: But grow in grace in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

Goals: To develop personal growth in their lives and to help them see the beauty and joy of ministry.  My personal goal for them is to develop a love for the ministry, whether it be serving full time in the ministry or serving alongside their pastor’s wife.

Format:
·  Met for 2 hours the first Saturday of each month
·  50 minutes for Biblical teaching or training. I used this time for to teach or for the girls to present a lesson.
·  20 minutes for fellowship and refreshments provided by 2 girls working together. The girls were to decorate a small table with a theme and to provide refreshments. They were not allowed to just throw refreshments on the table, but they were required to make a pleasing presentation of the food.
·  50 minutes of practical training
Cake Decorating
Floral Arranging
Theme Dinners
Serving Refreshments
Organization
Time Management
Hospitality in the home
Hospitality in the church
Coordinating Weddings
Ministering at Funerals

Ministry Preparation:
1.    Public Speaking with evaluations
·         Practice tongue twisters-fun
·         Scripture Readings-reading the Bible aloud with feeling
·         Public reading of poems or special readings
·         Prepare personal testimony and present it in class
·         Chose one aspect of Proverbs 31 lady, prepare and present the lesson
·         Prepare and present a lesson (Choose target audience, primary, junior, teens, adults)
2.    In Service Training
·         Nursery
·         Devotions at Ladies’ Meetings
·         Junior Church
·         Helping on Ladies’ Retreat Committee
3.    Study
·         How to study the Bible
·         A book study-I used some of Elizabeth George’s books
4.    Relationships
·         Working with people in group projects
·         Leadership skills for working with women
5.    Guest Speakers
·         Ministry wives
·         Missionary wives (question answer time during Mission’s Conference)
Theme Song:
Lord please make us sanctuaries
Pure and holy, tried and true
We’ll be a living Sanctuary
Lord for You!
Results:
·         4 Missionaries
·         1 Evangelist’s Wife
·         2 Church Secretaries
·         Music Director’s Wife
·         Pastor’s Wife
·         Several are not in fulltime ministry, but they are heavily involved in the ministry of their churches.

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Mistakes…or Tools?

Help! I Am Not Seeing Anything Happen Here
Do you ever feel that you are not seeing any results where you are laboring? If you are a missionary, you may have the thought, “Will I ever learn the language or the culture of these people?” There are days when you feel as if your mistakes are overwhelming. Don’t fret because of your mistakes.  God has called you and everything that you are experiencing right now is part of your preparation. Thank God daily that He found you worthy to be put in the ministry. Beg Him to give you strength for this part of your journey.  Don’t make too much of your failures or mistakes. They can simply be tools in God’s hands to guide you as you walk with Him.

Quotes about failure:
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.    Henry Ford
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.    Thomas Alva Edison
All my successes have been built on my failures.   
Benjamin Disraeli
There is no failure except in no longer trying.  Elbert Hubbard

Rest in the Lord and Wait Patiently for Him

William Carey labored seven years before the first Hindu convert was baptized.  In Burma, Judson toiled for seven years before he had one convert. In a letter to England Judson stated, “Beg the churches to have patience.”

 Patience is learning to wait on God’s timing without doubting God’s love and wisdom

God Pays His Workers
Who does God’s work will get God’s pay
However long may seem the day,
However weary be the way
He does not pay as others pay,
In gold or land or raiment gay,
In goods that perish and decay.
But God’s high wisdom knows the way:
And that is sure, let come what may,
Who does God’s work will get God’s pay

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again… Proverbs 23:16

“We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads,  and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results.”                                                                                                                       Herman Melville

                                   Your yesterdays are tied to your tomorrows!

 

God Sometimes Says NO

Did God Ever Tell You NO When You Prayed?

We need to learn to praise the Lord for all of His answers to our prayers. Sometimes we pray about a certain position or move in our lives and God begins closing doors. When God closes a door, it forces us to change our plans and begin to move in a new direction. I am so glad that God has shut doors in my life.

When my children were small, I told them a story about the missionary Amy Carmichael. When Amy was five years old, she wanted blue eyes more than anything. Her mother told her, “You will have to take that up with God.” That night, Amy, full of faith in God, asked the Lord to give her blue eyes. The next morning she went to the mirror and discovered that her eyes were still brown. As she was crying about this unanswered prayer, her mother told her, “Amy, God always answers our prayers. He doesn’t always answer the way we ask Him, but He always answers. His answers are NO, YES, or NOT AT THIS TIME.” Those of you who know the rest of the story of this great missionary know why she was born with brown eyes.

Praise the Lord that He directs our steps through opening and closing doors. Next time you get upset with God because He didn’t answer your prayers the way you told Him to answer it, praise Him. Unseen by you, His answer of NO, not at this time, might be saving you from many future heartaches. It is our wonderful Savior who sees the overall picture of our lives and the best plan for our future.

Next time you begin to grumble about God’s ways, realize that what you consider an unanswered prayer might be a closed door coming from the Master for your good. Didn’t He say … no good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly? (Psalm 84:11)

God is directing your path, and  He knows exactly what He is doing to bring about His perfect plan for your life.  (Psalm 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD; and He delighteth in his way.)

Setting an Elegant Tea Table

Gathering Tea Table Linens

1. Search Good Will Stores and yard sales to find dainty linens to use.

2. If you have plenty of time and have a sewing machine, make your own table linens.  Although there are many ready-made table linens, you can make linens that are more beautiful, and  they are more special to those attending your parties because you made them.

  • Measure your table’s length and width, and the height from floor to tabletop.
  • Purchase solid or printed cotton cloth to cover the tabletop.
  • Leave a minimum 12-inch to full-length floor-to-tabletop overhang on each side.
  • Make your tablecloth floor length on all sides for a formal, banquet-hall appearance.
  • Sew lace or eyelet to the edges of your tablecloth.
  • Make matching or contrasting cloth napkins if you wish, or purchase cloth napkins in complementary colors or patterns. Use printed napkins with solid tablecloths and solid-color napkins with printed tablecloths, or the patterns and colors may clash.

Gathering  Tableware

1. Gather enough tea pots that you can use one teapot for every 10 guests. Place 1 pot at the end of  each table. You can use loose-leaf tea or teabags. If using loose-leaf tea, make sure you have a tea ball for each pot.

2. For each table, use decorative service platters for each type of finger sandwich.

3. Serve sugar cubes and lemon wedges, arranged on a tray, and serve cream in cream pitchers that match your teapot. Provide sugar tongs at each table with your sugar trays.

4. You can use teacups, saucers and dessert plates that match your teapot and cream pitcher for formal teas, but mismatched cups, saucers, and dessert plates look beautiful.

5. Provide a silver or fine stainless-steel spoon and a dessert fork per guest.

6. Fold cloth napkins into attractive shapes and place them on each plate, along with a handwritten place card for each guest.

Presenting Food

1. Cut finger sandwiches into quarters, with crusts removed. Line serving trays with fresh spring greens, or lettuce leaves. Stack sandwiches in a floral patterns and garnish with fresh herbs.

2. Arrange ladyfingers, macaroons, or other cookies on a tiered tray. Garnish with candied or real edible flowers.

3. Place fresh fruit in individual dessert papers and place on a serving platter. Garnish with edible  greenery.

4. Use fresh flowers and greenery to decorate the table as needed. Avoid centerpieces taller than 12 inches.

An opening line  for a Tea Party Program

Having tea together reminds us of gentler times of long ago when the ladies were able to sit down, relax, and enjoy drinking tea with their friends. We have set aside this time for you to relax, to forget your worries, and to enjoy each other’s company.

Is Your Husband Your Best Friend?

Ways To Help Make Your Husband Become Your Best Friend

It is important that you not usurp your husband’s  position of leadership. Your husband wants to love you, but if you take over his leadership, he begins to compete. When he begins to compete, he loses his feeling of love for you. Show him that you respect and admire him. Don’t make him feel that you can do things just as good or better. Begin to really listen to him and give your advice sparingly. Pro 18:13…don’t answer a matter before you even hear it. As wives, we are emotional beings and have trouble listening. Listen to him with your eyes; it is a clear sign that you are interested in what he has to say.

Do some fun things together. Walks, hiking, metal detector, exercise, etc.
Think of ways you make your husband’s life better. Don’t put off doing things he asks you to.
Keep organized! When he needs to find something, he will be proud of your organization skills.
Keep laundry done.
Work at keeping his time at home relaxed.
Treat him with courtesy.
If possible read the Bible and pray together.
Don’t make him feel guilty if he doesn’t come up to your standard of spirituality.
Don’t allow yourself to become stagnant. Become aware of world news and events. Keep yourself fresh by remaining an interesting person.

Go to 1 Corin 13:4-7 and substitute the word love with the word wife.

A wife is longsuffering. A wife is kind. A wife doesn’t envy or boast. A wife is not proud. A wife is not rude. A wife doesn’t always seek her own way; A wife doesn’t get angry quickly, A wife doesn’t keep tract of wrongs. A wife always trusts, hopes, and perseveres.

Description of a Pastor’s Wife

Strength as the Pastor’s Wife

It happens without warning. One day you are a wife and mother; Whoosh–the next day you are a pastor’s wife. You feel like Sarah when Abraham came home and told Sarah, “We are moving! I don’t know exactly where — but let’s go.

Versatility is a must for a pastor’s wife. She is mostly girl….But there are times, such as when her husband is away and she is mowing the lawn or fixing a flat time on a youngster’s bike that she begins to suspect she is also a boy.

She usually comes in three sizes: Petite, plump, and pregnant. During the early years of her marriage it is often hard to determine which size is her normal one.

She has babies all over the world and measures time in terms of places as other women in years.

It was at Faith Baptist that we all had the mumps…In Cincinnati Dan was saved…”

At least one of her babies was born while she was alone. This causes her to suspect a secret pact between her husband and the church providing for a man to be away in an evangelistic meeting at times such as these.

A Preacher’s wife is international. She may be an Iowa farm girl, a French mademoiselle, a Japanese doll or a German Fraulein. When discussing pastoral problems, they all speak the same language.

She can be a great actress. To heartbroken children at moving time, she gives an Academy Award performance: “Arizona is going to be such fun!! I hear there are Indian reservations…and tarantulas…and rattlesnakes.”  But her heart is breaking with theirs. She wonders if this is worth the sacrifice.

An ideal Pastor’s wife has the patience of an angel, the flexibility of putty, the wisdom of a scholar and the stamina of a horse. If she dislikes money, it helps. She is sentimental, carrying her memories with here in an old footlocker.

One might say she is a bigamist, sharing her husband with a demanding entity called “Duty”. When duty calls, she becomes No. 2 wife. Until she accepts this fact, her life can be miserable.

She is, above all, a woman who married a Preacher who offered her the permanency of a gypsy, the miseries of loneliness, the frustration of conformity and the security of love.

Sitting among her packing boxes with squabbling children nearby, she is sometimes willing to chuck it all…until she heart the firm step and cheerful voice of that lug who gave her all this.

Then she is happy to be …his preacher’s wife.

Special Note: I did not write this, but I found it in my files. If anyone can tell me who wrote this, I will give her credit.

Ideas for Choosing and Preparing Coffee

Tips for Choosing Good Coffee
People who really appreciate a good cup of coffee can tell if the coffee beans are fresh and of good quality. Someone once told me that if I would store my coffee beans that I just opened in the freezer or refrigerator, that would keep the beans fresh. My brother-in-law set me straight about that myth.

After my husband’s sister and husband retired, they purchased a coffee plantation in the Rain Forest area of Puerto Rico and began to grow coffee. After visiting their farm a few times, I have discovered that growing coffee takes much labor and thought. They are meticulous about growing and processing their coffee beans. The beans are picked by hand and then processed under specialty coffee parameters. When the properly dried beans are hulled in preparations for roasting, they are distributed to different women on the mountain. These women carefully hand pick out the damaged beans. Only the ideal beans are roasted and used in their brand of coffee. Each time I visit their farm, I learn a few more facts about coffee.

1. Arabica beans produce the best coffee. My brother-in-law discovered some Robusta coffee plants growing on his farm. He explained to me that Robusta is not Arabica. Robusta coffee has more caffeine and is more bitter than Arabica.
2. Robusta beans are the beans that are used to blend with commercial grade Arabica coffee to produce a stronger flavored coffee with a darker tint. Robusta beans are from a different family of coffee and generally cheaper than Arabica beans.The word Robusta refers to the type of coffee beans, not to the “robust” flavor.
3. Never store coffee in freezer or refrigerator. When you store in refrigerator or freezer, it deteriorates the flavor. Always store in an airtight, glass container with a rubber seal and keep in a cool, dark place. Never store in a plastic container.
4. Once you grind the coffee beans, and they are exposed to the air, store immediately. Coffee can lose its flavor within two hours if it is not stored properly.
5. After your coffee is brewed, use a thermal glass carafe to keep the coffee hot. This can keep the coffee hot up to five hours, and it seals in the flavor.
6. Never reheat coffee.

Difference Areas of Coffee Production
Arabian – Coffee is usually high in acid and low in mellowness.
Brazilian – Most of the coffee that comes from Brazil is usually very high in acid.
Caribbean – Of Caribbean coffee the best- know good coffee comes from Jamaica. It is usually very expensive, but it is a full-bodied coffee. Lower priced Jamaica Blue Coffee is a blend.
Central America – Coffee is usually rich and full-bodied. Colombian Supreme is the favorite of most people.
Indonesian – An excellent coffee which is lower in acid than other coffee.
African-This is a full-bodied coffee with exceptional sharp flavors that is medium to dark roasted.
Hawaiian-This coffee is grown on the islands in volcanic soil. It has a rich and earthy flavor. Many people who have visited the islands on vacation, continue to enjoy drinking it, because the distinct flavors of the coffee remind them of their vacation.

Different Roasts of Coffee
American – This is the lightest roast.
Viennese – This coffee is slightly darker than American roast. This makes a good after dinner coffee.
French -Since this is a dark coffee, you should plan to use cream and milk.
Italian – This roast is very dark and makes a good espresso.

 

Nursery Workers

Add a nice clip art picture of a woman holding a baby  to this description of Nursery Workers. This could be an insert for a bulletin or  use it  as flyer to hand out to recruit new nursery workers. 

Nursery Workers Description and Qualifications

You will have one of the most important jobs in our church. You will be helping to lay a firm foundation of faith in the lives of the babies and toddlers. Your job will be to care for the babies by holding, cuddling, feeding, and playing with them. You will be their first picture of God and His love for them.

Think of  it! When you care for a baby or toddler of  a visiting mother who attends our services,  this mother will be able to hear the Gospel message  without any distractions, and she might be saved.  What a great reward you will receive for having a part in her salvation!

Qualifications
Growing Christian
Love for babies/toddlers
Know or willing to learn about baby/toddler characteristics
Ability to get along with people
Friendly and cheerful
Willing to serve

If you have a woman in your church who is willing to take on the responsibilities of being a Nursery Director, here are some guidelines that you might use.

Nursery Director Responsibilities
1.  Management nursery staff and recruit volunteers.
2.  Maintain a positive attitude and spiritual attitude.
3.  Check for needed supplies and equipment.
4.  Oversee the cleaning and scheduling of nursery workers.
5.  Mail weekly reminders to nursery workers.
6.  Set up training meetings for new nursery workers.
7.  Write midweek and bulletin inserts.
8.  Change bulletin boards to help give a good impression to new parents.

Special Note: Remind the nursery workers to show the bulletin board to the babies and toddlers while they hold them and play with them. Bulletin boards should be simple phrases. God Loves You. God Is Good…

Characteristics of  a Nursery Child  (1-3 years of age)
Physically
-Very active-tires easily
Mentally-Curious, inquisitive, imaginative, strong fear instinct
Socially-Individualistic, self-centered, desire attention, no inhibitions
Spiritually-Natural trust, hunger for love, natural reverence, beginning to sense right and wrong

Faith When You Face a Tragedy

Do You Have Faith for This Tragedy?

What is faith? I used to have a sign in my office that read Faith is not believing God can but it is knowing that He will.

Webster’s Dictionary for faith is to trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.

A spiritual definition of faith: Genuine, authentic faith is a faith free of doubt and believes that the things which “God says shall come to pass, will come to pass”.

The acrostic for Faith is FAITH FORSAKING ALL I TRUST HIM.

The faith of the child of God measures his victories and successes. Faith is the way he is saved, and faith is the way he lives the Christian life. Faith is trusting not striving.

Abraham needed faith to step out and claim God’s promises.

Genesis chapter 13:14-18 And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward: For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever. And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered. Arise, walk through the land in the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will it unto thee. Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.

Just like Abraham, we need faith to face trials and difficult times  in our lives.

God wants us to see with our eyes of faith. vs. 15 …land which thou seest. God wanted Abram to see His glory and provision. After we get saved, we attend church services and listen to many sermons. We read devotional books and listen to testimonies of great men and women of God through DVD’s, CD’s, live streaming, etc. Although we attend wonderful preaching conferences and hear the Word of God in many different ways, but, like Job, unless we go through suffering, we don’t really see the LORD and understand His plan for our lives. Job 42:5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.

What happens to us when our eyes of faith are opened?   Suddenly His Word reveals to us our true thoughts and motives.  As our eyes of faith open, we begin to see our Lord in all His glory and  majesty,  and we want to fall at His feet and worship Him.   

God wants us to hear with our ears of faith. vs. 15 …to thee will I give it. Abraham heard God’s promise-I will, I will, I will.To have ears of faith, we must listen carefully for God’s voice to guide us.

How do I hear God’s Voice?

First, we hear God’s voice by that still small voice in our spirit. 1 Kings 19:12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

Second, we hear God’s voice through His Word. Romans 10:17…hearing the word of God. Word in this verse means communicate. When someone communicates the Gospel to us, we are saved. We hear and believe.

Our fellowship and communication with God opens the door to faith. Our communication with God  should be more than “give me” or  talking at God. Communicationwith the Lord takes place when we begin to share our deepest hurts with Him and allow Him to comfort us through His Word.  As time passes, He gives us wisdom to understand that these trials were designed for our good and His glory. Our faith grows to the place that we learn to pray with the mind of Christ.

 “LORD, not my will but Thine”. Matthew 26:39 And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

It involves listening and waiting for God’s Word to communicate His truth into our lives. His message will be gentle but strong. When God’s Word comes into our spirits, we will begin to feel His love as never before. When we begin to feel God’s love, His Word  will encourage and energizes us for the mission that He has prepared for us. These will be messages that He designs just for us to hear and messages that draws our spirits closer to His.

God wants us to walk with our feet of faith. vs. 17…arise, walk through the land. Abram stepped out and claimed what God had for him and walked in God’s will.

Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord. The path of our life is miraculously designed and ordained by God. It is not by chance that the events of our lives happen but by His sovereign will. Every step that we take is from Him. Think of a captain of a ship. As he steers that vessel, he makes sure that it doesn’t crash into the rocks or run upon the sands. That captain’s goal is to get his vessel into the harbor safely. That is God’s goal for our lives. He is the captain of our salvation, and His goal for our lives is to get our vessels (our lives) into the harbor (heaven) safely.

God delighteth in the ways that He leads His children. Think of a new parent as he watches his baby begins to take his first steps. At first that child hesitates, but day by day, he becomes surer. Then after a few weeks, he is walking everywhere. Jesus is watching our footsteps. He is watching how we walk through our trials and disappointments. He delighteth in the way that we walk when He sees us walking strong and walking in faith.

God wants us to move with faith  when He speaks to us. vs. 18 Abram moved his tent. When God said move, Abraham moved. He moved when God spoke to him. Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law…turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whitersoever thou goest.

The African impala can jump to a height of over ten feet and cover a distance of greater than thirty feet. If you put that same Impala in a zoo and cage it in an enclosed space, it can’t jump a three foot wall. Why? Because it can’t see where its feet will land. For the children of God, our faith is like that. Our faith is the ability to trust even though can’t see. Our faith frees us to move from thoughts of fear to thoughts of future rewards that await us in heaven.

God wants us to be satisfied with His plan for our lives. vs. 18 Abram was satisfies with what God was doing in his life. He was living in Mamre. The word Mamre means fatness. Fatness in the Bible speaks of experiencing the blessings of the Lord. Abraham sacrificed in Hebron. The name Hebron symbolizes fellowship and worship. It was there in Hebron where Abraham fellowshipped and worshiped the Lord.

Proverbs 19:23 The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied. What a wonderful promise. If we fear the Lord, we shall experience satisfaction. It is interesting to look at the word abide. Although we might be going through the deepest trial, we are freed from the fear of the trial because faith has a sure abiding (accepting God’s will) place.

What must we do when we face a tragedy or a severe trial?

Think positive thoughts. Satan wants to fill our minds with negative thoughts. He wants us to doubt our salvation and doubt God’s purpose and will. He wants us to look to our own faith and not to the faith of Jesus. Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.  To develop our faith, we can’t put our faith in our own faith, but we must put our faith in Jesus’ faith. In the book of Hebrews it says…looking unto Jesus. This verse is telling us to look away from everything else except Jesus. We live by the faith of the Son of God, and we are looking to Him for strength, and trusting in His promises and in His grace.

We must focus on positive thoughts of God and His plan for our lives. Positive thinking is not faith. The object of our faith must be the Almighty God.  Salesmen and leaders are taught to think positive and to learn positive thinking techniques. The problem is that they are taught to think positive about themselves. If we look to ourselves, we will always fail. We must fill our minds with positive, constructive thoughts of God and His attributes. Psalm 9:10 And they that know His name will put their trust in Thee. I love to review the names of God because they reinforce my thoughts of God’s character and His attributes.

Jehovah I Am—God never changes. His promises never fail. He is faithful.
Jehovah Jirah—God will provide
Elohim-God is all-powerful creator
El Roy-God who sees me—There are no circumstances in our lives that He can’t see and that He is not aware. Through all these circumstances He sees and cares.
El Shaddai-He is the source of all of our blessings—My problems are not too big for Him to handle.

As we hear and read God’s Word, it  generates our faith. Romans 10:17 Faith comes by hearing-hearing by the Word of God. We must get into God’s Word to get our firm assurance.

I am sure that Jesus’ disciples, followers, and even His mother didn’t quite comprehend why He had to suffer and go to the cross. I am sure that they probably questioned God’s purpose during this horrible time.

John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

Only three women were with Jesus at His most dreaded hour. How it must have grieved the heart of the Savior  to witness such a lack of faith and understanding in the very ones who claimed to be His followers.

Many times when we go through a horrible tragedy, we become stunned, disorganized, and disbelieving. Our emotions increase, and we become anxious and fearful. We sometimes even begin to question our faith and God’s purposes. It’s at those times we must choose to move from those negative thoughts of doubt to thoughts of full trust in God’s plan and encourage ourselves through His Word.

There are times in our lives when we get so busy living that we get our focus off the Lord’s will and His plan for this world. When those times come into our lives, the Lord has to send trials or tragic events to remind us that He is still in control. It is usually during those difficult times that we begin to get our focus back on Him and His purposes.

Focus on being thankful. I Thessalonians 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Get quiet and get on your knees. Thank the Lord for the experience that you are facing. Let Him know that you don’t understand it, but you know that He have a special plan for for what you are experiencing. Ask Him to fill you with His peace and joy and help you to trust Him through this trial.

Listen for Him to speak to you. It is almost as if I can hear the Lord speak to me in a still small voice during  difficult times, “My child, I know that you can’t see all that I have planned at this time, but trust Me and understand that as you and others around you go through this,  it will prove to be for your good and for My glory.“

Faith is obeying God even when we don’t understand. It is trusting Him with every area of our lives, knowing that He has a purpose for everything that happens to us.

Etiquette for Dinner Conversation

Tips  for  Good Conversation

  •  Do not talk about questionable and unpleasant things.
  • Avoid sounding like a know-it-all. Guest’s opinions count too.
  • Be careful about giving advice which has not been requested.
  • Avoid using sarcasm to try to get your point across.
  • Avoid gossiping, because it shows poor taste.
  • Do not be oversensitive (this blocks good communication).
  • Avoid bragging. Don’t talk only about you, your ministry, and your family.
  • To avoid meaningless, boring conversations, keep current on world events.
  • Avoid the tendency to bore others with the same stories.
  • Use discretion when talking about your past misfortunes, illnesses, and surgeries.
  • Be a good listener and be genuinely interested in others.
  • Be teachable (teachability-the opposite of pride).
  • Be accepting as you listen to others. When a person does not feel accepted, he will not want to communicate.
  • Avoid using jargon to try to impress others.
  • When you receive a compliment, say” Thank you” Do not try to justify or make excuse; receive it with dignity.
  • Avoid asking questions about prices and the cost of items.
  • Avoid inquiring about a person’s age (Except inquiring about a child’s age; they don’t mind telling you).
  • Do not make fun of someone else’s nationality.
  • Do not correct another person’s story or happening.
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