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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mid-Week Motivation

Start your day out right!
Scripture, Short Devotion
"Who is wise and understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom's gentleness. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don't brag and lie in defiance of the truth. Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." James 3:13-18
Who of us isn't ambitious? I would say that anyone with a goal is, and without goals, where would we be? But this verse brings to our attention the motive behind our ambition. Are we fueled by dreams of furthering self, or furthering our God? Is the root of our enthusiasm fed by the bitter envy of what others have or have accomplished, or is it nutured by the purity of the Father?

A good indicator is of course, our fruits. Does our success tend to yield pride and self-centered hypocrisy? If it does, our seed needs to be examined. The Bible says, "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace." Our hearts should be in the pursuit of peace in the midst of our ambitions: peace with others, with ourselves, with our Lord. We must be at peace in whatever He determines and at peace with whatever the outcome may be. When we focus so much on self, the result can only be disorder. When we make Him our focus, He will bring order to our deepest dreams and desires.

Pray for the Lord's peace in directing you in achieving your goals today. There's wisdom in laying something down that he never planned for you, and there's success in gaining His perspective on your ambitions. Ask yourself, "am I a sower of peace?" 'Tis the season for "peace on earth." Let it begin in me.

Is Your House in Order?
Cleaning, parenting, marriage, organization tips, etc.

How do the people you love most receive love from you? In this season of giving, it's easy to be focused on packages and parcels and Christmas festivities. Sometimes we expect others to consider these things we do as love exhibited to them, but many people receive love in a completely different way. We can knock ourselves out trying to buy them the "X-box" they mentioned in a tally of their interests, and that person may experience Christmas not feeling loved by us at all.

Gary Chapman wrote a phenomenal book, "The 5 Love Languages." If you are already familiar with this work, I'm sure you're a fan. In it, he describes the different love languages that we communicate and receive love in. So many times, these "languages" do not line up congruently with those closest to us, and familiarizing ourselves with another "language" can help in our relationships immensely.

Just to pique your interest, the five languages he includes are: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Why not take a quiz to find out your personal style and then think seriously about those that surround you? I know that this time of year, especially, I want those nearest and dearest to me to receive an extra dose of appreciation. What better way to communicate my love effectively than to speak the language of love that they can easily interpret?

Afternoon Pick Me Up
Writing inspiration

Many times an interior designer will focus the room around one particular piece. It is her inspiration and everything else is spawned from it. Nothing draws the eye away from it without another piece drawing the eye back. I think it's a trick the designer uses to introduce many other elements without overwhelming the individual. There's always something to bring us home.

Think of an idea or observation that is particularly interesting or meaningful to you. Write your best sentence about it, being as effective in your communication to the reader as possible. Try to make the reader feel what you feel regarding this particular subject. Then, build a poem or short story around your sentence. It can come at the beginning, the middle, or the end of your piece, positioning really doesn't matter here. However, your theme should be obvious by the end of the work; the reader should see exactly how you came to your conclusion or perspective on the subject.
Writing comes more easily if you have something to say. Sholem Asch

What's For Dinner?
Quick dinners, crock pots, etc.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
this is one of our family favorites...hope you enjoy it too!

You'll need:
One jar of Alfredo sauce (doesn't matter what kind)
One bag of frozen broccoli florets
One box of Angel Hair pasta
Garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a deep skillet or wok. Add chicken, sprinkle with garlic. Brown the chicken and lower heat. Add Alfredo sauce. Simmer on low.
Meanwhile, steam or boil broccoli, cooking thoroughly. Drain and add to chicken/alfredo mixture.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Serve with alfredo mixture.
Serves 4

A Restful Night's Sleep
Scripture for a restful sleep
"Lord, now You are letting Your servant
depart in peace,
According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of
all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.
These words were uttered by an an often unsung hero named Simeon. Simeon had waited patiently for the Lord to fulfill His promise to him to reveal the Messiah before his death. Despite the delay of this fulfillment, he lived his life in commitment to the Lord, and as the Lord promised, he was shown the face of the tiny Savior. What a wonderful moment for this faithful servant! A moment of epiphany he had spent his life dreaming about. A moment he had looked forward to for so many years. I'm sure the moment was sweeter for the waiting.

As you spend your last moments awake in this day, thank the Lord for His faithfulness to you. He does not work on our timetable, none can refute this. But He is faithful to do what He promises, and there is a purpose in our waiting. Trust Him in His plan, and praise Him for the blessing He has in store.

Come visit Chanda at her blogspot:Thursday's Child


Anonymous said...

I needed that morning devotional today. I've had a project that really demands some attention and I've been praying to keep my heart in check so I know that my motives are pure. Several times I've thought I should lay the project aside, but it seems when I pray for guidance and a motive check, I get the feeling I should continue.

This seems like an affirmation.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to say--It is GREAT to see you here!!

Congrats on the first post! You did well!!

Gina said...

Great timely post. What a good way to wrap up the year, focusing on our motives!

Melissa said...

Great job Chanda! I am thrilled for you! Yah!