InfluenceDo you ever hear just one sentence and it sets off a serious thought process in you head.  When we hear the word influence, do we really think about the powerful nature of this word.  Sitting in church this morning I heard the word and didn’t think much of it.  However, once I heard the following, I have thought about it all day:

The teacher was talking about a discussion between himself
and a child before services one morning.  He had never seen
the child, didn’t know who he belonged to, but the child came
up to him and asked him if he was a politician.  The teacher said “no, why do you ask?”  The child stated
“because you always wear the flag pin on your jacket.”

If something so small as a child noticing a pin on a jacket is noticed, what else is noticed by anyone so young or old.  Do we really think about how our actions or appearances can influence others?  If your like me the answer is no.  I try to act like I should, but we never know who around us is looking or listening.  When I really think about it, it can be kind of scary.  Influence is a pretty powerful word.  Within that word we hold a lot of power.  Are we using it to the fullest?  For those who go to church and have kids, do our kids dress modestly?  If not, are we or our kids allowing others to concentrate on us rather than paying attention to what’s being taught?  Although we may not use bad language or drink, by hanging out with those who do, are we being associated with them?  Do we realize that there may be a person out there that we don’t know, but, they have watched us at church, and respected us, because we don’t do the above mentioned things.  However, one night they are weak and see us with a rowdy group of individuals maybe not drinking, but the words coming from our table are clearly heard.  Does the person who is weak rethink what he is doing? Is he motivated to not live that life especially when he sees someone he admired, in with the same crowd he is.  We may have not used that language, or drank any alcohol, however by  being there listening, laughing, and going on with the group just sent the wrong message.  We unknowingly influenced him, and, never knew the person.

Something I Experienced

Years ago when I had just started a job I was invited to Tequila Thursday after work.  I always made excuses, and did not participate.  After about 10 times Mike came to me and asked if I didn’t like his group, because I never came to their function.  Talk about an awkward conversation, but I told him “I do like your group, I have three kids at home, my faith is important to me, and I don’t drink.”  I also said that “I need to be an example and a good influence to my husband and kids and to anyone who may know me.”  He was real quiet and said he understood, and respected me for that.  But, he was going to keep asking me every  Thursday, so I wouldn’t feel left out.  And, he did.  We because very close coworkers, and he was invaluable in his training me things that took me further into my job climb.

Influence is Power, and gift that we all hold.  Do we use it to our fullest capabilities.

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Living in today’s world can be stressful, or lets face it just plain difficult some days.  Time management is even more difficult than it was years ago.  As a result, it can be an effort to constantly remind ourselves that being grateful leads to peace.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us to “Always be joyful.  Never stop praying.  Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”

Not only is this verse a command, but it serves a purpose.  When we seek a positive out of a negative, we alleviate a lot of stress in our lives.  When we experience that feeling of being lost and compare it to a compass, we know that praying can lead us back home.  When life gets overwhelming, being grateful leads to peace.  Imagine driving with your family, being in a hurry, and someone runs a red light, barely missing you head on.  After shock, adrenaline rush, and anger, a simple first line access with God, “Thank you for allowing us to be safe.”  Isn’t that much better than all of the other thoughts that usually run through our mind?  Isn’t that better than wanting to turn the car around, follow the person, and give them a piece of your mind (be honest I know you have thought that).  We have the choice to be happy or negative.  Perhaps more praying, a more conscious effort at being thankful will lead to being grateful.  Like anything in life it takes practice.  Sometimes more practice that we bargained for.  However, the verse above should inspire us to try.  After all God has told us to do it, and God knows what is best for us.

A Simple Assignment

When you wake up in the morning before turning all the thoughts on for the day, say a Prayer.  It doesn’t have to be long, at least thank God for giving you another morning to look at.  All through the day make an effort whenever negativity creeps in to balance it out with a positive.  For all good and bad things, either thank God or ask for guidance, doesn’t have to be long, could be a simple sentence.  I think you will find that after practice, or maybe much practice, your outlook will be a little brighter.  You will be closer to God, and you will find that being grateful leads to peace.

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EastonHatKate

Digital Scrapbooking Page Idea – Mother and Son – Vintage - Title “I wish I could Squish”

 

 

 

 

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Eve a Woman of Firsts

March 5, 2014

Eve a woman of firsts.   The first woman who literally had it all.  She was also the first woman who lost it all.  How many of us dream of living in a beautiful place with no worries? Imagine having tranquility, beauty, a husband, and first line access to God. And, yet, in an instant it was all taken away.  Eve was created from Adam, a simple rib, a companion, and both created in the image of God.  Adam and the animals were created from the earth, however, Eve was created  from the living Adam.  Eve was the first woman.

They were instructed to tend the beautiful garden, but not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  When the serpent approached Eve he planted a seed of doubt by telling her “You will not surely die.” Genesis 3:4. Eve had told the serpent that she was not allowed to eat of that tree.  She knew she shouldn’t, but let the serpent’s statement and her wanting something that looked pleasing to go against what she knew was right.  We know that since both Adam and Eve were created in Gods image, they had love, compassion, and the ability to discern what was expected of them.  In the end they both got the wisdom they were seeking, but in the wrong way. Some would ask “why God would create someone that would sin?”  He gave them a choice.  He gave them a conscience.   We know that because as soon as they did it they felt naked.  They knew they did wrong.   Eve committed the first sin.  Because of that sin she was the first women to be disciplined by God.  She was the first women who had to suffer in childbirth.  Eve suffered all because she didn’t trust that God was serious when he laid down the one simple rule that would affect the future.

Concluding Thoughts Based on Eve’s Actions

That sin changed the world forever.  Not only did Adam and Eve have to struggle to provide food, shelter etc., they set a the standard for how the world is today.  Every human created has inherited a sinful nature.  It cuts us off from God, just as he cut Adam and Eve out of the Garden.  However, in spite of the distance, and the sins that we commit, we have forgiveness that will bring us back to him.  Just as Eve a Woman of Firsts had a beautiful garden to live in before she chose to sin, we have a chance to be the first to inherit eternal life by living and knowing God, doing what he instructs and living according to the Bible.

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 February 2014 – Grandkids Vacation to North Carolina – Digital Scrapbook Pages

 

KaylaSmileFebVac

Adventure malachibus

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Latest Grandkid Layouts

January 5, 2014

Easton Fall

Easton-AnchorHatOct2013

Malachi Baseball – Summer 2013

soveryluckymalachi

Easton – Bubbles

EastonStacked

 

Makayla – Fair – August 2013KaylaatFair

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Easton Exploring the Beach

January 3, 2014

homerweb

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My parents are the gift that keeps giving.  All my life I have seen and heard about families that are not close, that don’t communicate, that can go years without seeing each other, and that complain that their vacations they need to see family. I have always felt very blessed that I’m not in that group. In writing this my emotions are very raw right now. My parents left after spending over a week with them. We went to their house for Christmas Eve and the next day after all the Christmas celebrations, my husband and daughter left to go see his Grandmother. That left my parents and I to spend over a week, just the three of us. Unlike some, I love being with my parents. They are the gift that keeps giving. We have fun. We can go out and do something, we can all sit and read, or watch movies in their movie room. There is routine, there is love, and there is a feeling that is comforting.

We travelled to our house which is two hours away, and immediately my dad started working on little projects that he knows I needed to get done. Daily trips to Home Depot was a something to look forward to, was fun, and was comforting. Going to the malls just to shop the sales is not my thing, but my Mother loves to shop. She can find the best deals, it’s like she has a homing beacon in her brain. You can just see that she is so excited to be there. Me I go in for what I want and leave. Next thing I know she keeps bringing me dresses that were at ridiculously low prices and it became fun. I’m like find me something else.  My mother is a gift, she can turn boring into fun.

Eating out is something else we enjoy, just the three of us. She can cook and I don’t like to.  We are a family that can either talk, laugh, and joke with each other, or just sit in silence and feel comforted knowing we are together. My daughter had a friend come over and it was requested that I make a certain dish. My intent was to make it since my mother had cooked a feast for Christmas. Keep in mind my mother can make anything from nothing. That gene was not passed to me. She immediately took over and created yet again another great dinner. Her decorating abilities are beyond what I could ever do. My present this year was a mirror that goes over the fireplace. It was exactly what I would pick, but obviously could never find. We all stood in front of the mirror, and I thought we are together, just the three of us.

My Dad on the other hand can make, fix, repair anything. I have been wanting a specific type of ladder to show my quilts on. When I was telling him, he said “I can make it.” It turned out beautiful. He fixed, and repaired quite a few things. He patiently waited while we shopped. Most important he was there, just the three of us.  My father is a gift, he can do anything and loves technology and toys like I do.

I don’t think many families have the parents I do. They live by the Bible, put God first, and still provide the advice, positive reinforcement to each of their three children. Even though we are growing older, we still have no problem calling for advice, asking how do to do something, or just need to hear their voice.  They are the gift that keeps giving.

It saddens me, as they are pulling out of the driveway even though they are two hours away. They inspire me, and my New Years Resolution is to make the time to spend more time with them. It’s so easy in life to get caught up in other things, however, when you have parents like I do, it is a constant gift, one that keeps giving, and one in which I will be eternally grateful for.

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Christmas in North Carolina – I’m Going to Love It!

December 1, 2013

Christmas in North Carolina, I think I’m going to like it. Here it is December 1 and I wake up to a sunny sky. I still can’t believe that I have not put on a coat yet. This time in Alaska I was sticking handwarmers in my pockets even when I was in the house. […]

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Good Samaritan; Aspire to be like Him

November 27, 2013

The Good Samaritan; Aspire to be like Him.  That’s a pretty powerful goal to live towards, or is it?  With life so busy, and how wrapped up we are in our own lives and families, would we be willing to help someone needing it?  Does the occasional good deed seem to fill our cups for quite […]

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