Friday, July 31, 2015

Count It All Joy

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 (NIV)

Count it all joy… James 1:2-3 (NKJV)

What does it mean to “count it all joy?”

To respond to difficulties with joy seems absurd. James knows this, and so in verse 3 he offers his answer to our natural question: Why should we rejoice in the face of trials? He doesn’t say if you face trials, but whenever you face them. He assumes that we will have trains and that it is possible to profit from them. The point is not to pretend to be happy when we face pain, but to have a positive outlook (“consider it pure joy”) because of what trials can produce in our lives. James tells us to turn our hardships into times of learning. Tough times can teach use perseverance.

Trials have a purifying quality; they are the arena in which and the process through which something good develops. Here in James is a parallel to the Hebrew idea that testing can result in purification even if it is the result of a person’s natural impulse to sin (yeṣer ha-ra).

Trials can have this effect as a result of the means of “testing” (dokimion). The root of this word means “approved character,” so we can see the close link between the testing and its intended result.

We cannot really know the depth of our character until we see how we react under pressure. It’s easy to be kind to others when everything is going well, but we can we still be kind when others are treating us unfairly? God wants to make us mature and complete, not to keep us from all pain. Instead of complaining about our struggles, we should see them as opportunities for growth. Thank God for promising to be with you in rough times. Ask Him to help you solve your problems or to give you the strength to endure them. Then be patient, God will not leave you alone with your problems, He will stay close and help you grow.

Other verses to consider:

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. Romans 2:7 (NIV)

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;   perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (NIV)

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 (NKJV)



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Strategy for Gaining Prosperity


 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.  Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.  Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” Joshua 1:6-8 (NLT)

Many people think that prosperity and success come from having power, influential personal contacts, and a relentless desire to get ahead. But the strategy for gaining prosperity that God taught Joshua goes against such criteria. He said that to succeed Joshua must:
(1) be strong and courageous because the task ahead would not be easy,
(2) obey God's law, and
(3) constantly read and study the Book of Instruction (or Book of the Law), which is God's Word.

To be successful, follow God's words to Joshua. You may not succeed by the world's standards, but you will be a success in God's eyes - His opinion is the only one that matters.



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Your Promised Land

Your Promised Land
God meant for His children to succeed. God stated unapologetically in Joshua 1:8 that conditions exist under which “then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” NASB. (Read Joshua 1:6-8)
The only way we are going to impact the world and the next generation is to prove that our faith in Christ is real and that it works.
The gap between our theology and our reality is so wide we’ve set ourselves up for ridicule. The sad part of it is that some of us are working pretty hard at something that is hardly working. Why do we spend so much time and energy on spiritual exercises with few effects while the rest of the world sleeps in on Sundays? Why are some of us getting up before dawn to have a quiet time with effects drained to the dregs by noon? Why are we running out of ink in our highlighters marking Scriptures that rarely jump off the page and onto the pavement? Why are we doing everything we can to convince others to do something that hasn’t worked terrifically well for use? Why don’t some of us admit that for all practical purposes the present belief system of most Christian’s isn’t’ working?
The primary reason God left us on earth after our salvation was for our Christianity to “succeed” right here on this turf. We’re getting by, but getting by was never our destiny. Why have we accepted average? Are the few effects most of us see and experience all Christianity has to offer? Is this it? All we can expect? If so, someone out there needs to feel sorry for us.
Our status-quo system of contemporary Christianity isn’t working, and I’m bucking it – I’m no longer buying it. Some of us no longer want to play like the emperor has new clothes when he’s walking around naked as a jaybird.
For the most part we’ve dumbed-down New Testament Christianity and accepted our reality as theology rather than biblical theology as our reality. We’ve reversed the standard, walking by sight and not by faith. We want to be the best of what we see, but frankly what we see if far removed from God’s best.
What do you see as God's best for your life?





Saturday, July 18, 2015

Bible Study Skills – The Series


Here are the links for any that you may have missed or want to see again. Click on the title and it will take you directly to that blog post…

To Journal or Not to Journal” – explores the benefits of Journaling;

Verse Chaining vs. Verse Mapping” - allows us to connect the verses together … connect the dots! So we don’t miss the beauty of the complete picture God has for us to discover.

Digging Deeper” - Reading the Bible in context is like zooming out and seeing the bigger picture … the surrounding facts; 

Memorizing Scripture” – 7 Ways to Help You Memorize Scripture;

Helping Your Child Memorize Scripture” – 12 Tips to Help Your Child Memorize Scripture;

Commentaries” - Commentaries are a fantastic resource to use in order to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures.

Key Word Search” - Doing a keyword search in my Bible or Bible app often helps me gain a deeper meaning of what God’s Word actually has to say on a certain topic.

I certainly hope you have enjoyed this series and I’d love to hear which one you found most useful and/or enjoyed the most.

I’m working on Vol 2 – so let me know what you’d like to see included in the next series. Who knew how much fun studying the Bible could be – right!!!

Have an awesome God-blessed day!




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bible Study Skill/Tools – Key Word Search

 Have ever wondered what the Bible has to say on a certain subject?

Have you, like me, found yourself Googling “what does the Bible say about … ?” only to find multiple (and sometimes conflicting!) views on whatever subject may be at hand.

Doing a keyword search in my Bible or Bible app often helps me gain a deeper meaning of what God’s Word actually has to say on a certain topic.

I LOVE using to do keyword searches! I type in the word I want to study and what version of the Bible I want to use, and it pulls up the verses on that subject! Here below is what it looked like when I did a keyword search on faith.

With over 507 results and the ability to view other translations, context, or the whole chapter, I found myself in awe of God’s Word and how it all fits together to speak straight into my life today!
I would like to challenge you to pick any small book of the Bible (or long passage that can be read in one sitting) and read the whole thing for several days or even weeks in a row, looking for something different every day … such as references to God one day, to Jesus the next, to His promises, His provision, His faithfulness and so on. As you read, look for things you’ve never seen before in those verses, let them speak to you personally, seek a fresh deeper understanding of God’s Word.

I love that I can do key word reading any time, with nothing more than my Bible!  

Hebrews 11, often called “The Hall of Faith,” by many Bible scholars.  So I encourage you to continue your walk of faith by reading Hebrews 11 (or another passage if you like) for several days, a few weeks or even a month. Whatever works for you…As you read the same words/verses over and over again, let them soak deep within your soul and change you.

Key Word Search on YouTube:

Here’s a helpful list of 20 Things to Look For in Studying Scripture, some tips on key word reading and a little journal to record what you find.

This is the Blue Heron I mentioned in the video!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Put God First

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3

But see first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be give to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Keep your relationship with God FRESH & VIBRANT!

Following Him, brings purpose and meaning to our lives.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bible Study Skills – Commentaries

There are many super intelligent, highly-educated Biblical Scholars out there who’ve spent countless hours digging deeper into God’s Word and writing about it. Their fact-finding results and opinions are recorded in what we call Commentaries. Commentaries are a fantastic resource to use in order to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures.

Why do these matter? For me personally, I love gaining a deeper understanding of what God’s Word says, by reading what points brainy folks come up with … stuff that I wouldn’t see, without their help!

Read Philippians 1:21 (or even the whole chapter), and ask yourself — what do you think it means? Pray over the verse and ask the Lord for wisdom in understanding.

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (NIV)

One caution: we shouldn’t rely merely on human opinions and it is wise to check multiple trusted commentaries. Here are a few great websites you can go to for FREE commentaries. 

BibleHub — Type in “Philippians  1:21″ at the top of the page and then scroll down to discover the Commentaries underneath the list of verses in different translations. {Click here or on the picture below, to visit BibleHub.}

BibleGateway — Type in Philippians 1:21 at the top of the page, then click on the blue button (at right) for “Study This” to reveal the Commentaries. {Click here, to visit BibleGateway.}

Spend some time looking at the different commentaries and journal your thoughts on what Paul means when he says: “to live is Christ.”

Sweet friends, I just want to be sure you understand that these are mere mortal’s opinions and while some are, no doubt, spot on … there are some debates between scholars, so I would encourage you to always dig deeper yourself by looking into the context! Check out the Digger Deeper blog for more information.

Your Turn:   What does “to live is Christ” mean to you?

Be blessed & be a blessing,


Monday, July 6, 2015

The Success Journey

The Success (the accomplishment of one's goals) Journey

Having awareness of what's important - God, dreams, family, husband, children, finances, self-development, friends, ministry.

Everyday we work out of the things that are important to us - these are our priorities - put people before things

Choose your top 3 priorities & why they are important, then then what would you like to see in 20/30 years

What will you do everyday, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly to increase areas of your life that are important to you - Be Realistic

Start each day with prayer & scripture.

Seek first the kingdom of not worry - Matthew 6:33-34

Take The Lord as your business partner - Ps 32:8
The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of our lives. Psalm 37:23

Proverbs 16:3 Commit your work to The Lord & your plans will succeed

Put activities on your calendar as commitment - IPA's, reconnect with customers.

Open up your calendar, pray over it & ask God to fill it with divine appointments.

We are like the 5 people we hang with - make list - family counts as one.

Stay the course - Be committed to holding yourself accountable.
        Power Partner/Accountability Partner/Prayer Partner.
        5am Friend - we all need one - who is yours?

Little changes makes significant differences

We all have different destinations in life it's up to us to enjoy the journey

Each day is a gift - Make it Count.

Attitude is e everything!

ANT's - automatic negative thoughts. Never let ANT's turn into...
I CANT's - I Certainly Am Not Trying

These are words & thoughts that should never be used when it comes to growing a business

Without Purpose, Passion & a Plan it's easy to let other things get in the way of your business

Don't expect your life to change if you aren't willing to change the way you live.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

Photographing Fireworks

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, celebrating our country's Independence Day. This year my husband & I ventured out close to home to watch the local fireworks display. I wanted to test my skills for both Night Photography and Long Exposure. Thanks to Chuck Palmer's article in the Camera Club of Brevard's newsletter, I put his instructions to the test.
Here' what I got... 
 ISO - f16 - 18mm - 6sec
ISO - f16 - 18mm - 10 sec
ISO - f16 - 18mm - 10 sec
ISO - f16 - 18mm - 6 sec

All of these images were captured on a tripod using my Nikon D7100 camera and my Sigma 18-250mm lens; I went totally manual with a Tungsten WB setting. I had my cable release but I forget to readjust the setting for this after I had turned the camera off :-(

Next year, I'll be a little more prepare and a little more confident, with my cable release set to fire!



Helping Your Child Memorize Scripture

Here are 12 other tips for helping your child memorize scripture: 

1. Take one phrase at a time and repeat it over and over with your child. Once he has mastered that phrase, move on to the next one, building on each one until he can say the entire verse. 

2. Put a dry-erase board (or chalk board) in a high traffic area of your home and write the verse of the week on it. This will serve as a reminder to you and your child to keep reviewing it. Have the board within view of your dining room table so you can talk about it during meals.

3. Use a dry-erase marker to write the verse on your child’s mirror.

4. Write the verse on an index card and keep it in your car. Start the verse by saying the first word, then take turns with your child, each of you saying a word from the verse until you have said the whole verse. 

5. Scramble the words of the verse on a piece of paper and have your child unscramble them, putting them in the correct order.

6. Put the words of the verse to a simple tune. Sing this tune each day and during bedtime routines.

7. Use small rewards when your child can recite the verse for you without any help.

8. Bounce a ball to your child saying one word of the verse and have her bounce it back, saying the next word, and so on.

9. Use sign language or make up motions to go with the words. Have your child sign with you.

10. Have an older child write the verse in a journal, maybe even using colored pencils and color-coding certain words.

11. Use websites or smartphone apps to assist your child in memorizing the verse.

12. Most importantly, discuss the verse with your child. Talk about how he can incorporate it into his daily activities, and have him brainstorm ways to apply it.






Friday, July 3, 2015

Independence Day!

Independence Day is celebrated on 4th of July of each year in the USA and it is the celebration of the day the United Sates Of America's declared it's independence from the control, ownership, and abuse of Great Britain (United Kingdom/Britain/England). 

In essence, it is when USA was born and declared it's freedom from control and ownership of Great Britain.  Independence Day is a federal holiday in the USA.  Independence day is often referred to as "July 4th", or "4th Of July", but those phrases are not substitute names, and reference the date the holiday is celebrated. 

In current times, Independence Day is commonly celebrated with lighting of fireworks or electronic light shows, music, and outdoor activities (picnics and games), the display of the "American" flag (USA flag), and the display of the USA flag colors red, white and blue. 






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