Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nice vs. Kind




























The nice person is focused on himself – he does nice things in order to be perceived (by others and by himself) as a “nice person.”

The kind person is focused on others – all he wants is to relieve the suffering of the living, conscious creature in front of him.

When we dig deeper into these two “personalities,” we will find that they are often diametrically opposed.

     * The kind person is strong. The nice person is weak.
     * The kind person is selfless. The nice person is selfish.
     * The kind person feels empathy. The nice person is narcissistic.
     * The kind person is happy. The nice person does not know happiness.

Ultimately: The core of a “kind person” is love. The core of a “nice person” is fear.


Which would you rather be – nice or kind?

I did a search in Biblegateway.com, there were zero results for the word "nice."

“Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty. (Job 6:14 NIV)

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (Colossians 3:12 NIV)




Saturday, July 8, 2017

Joy





Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds – James 1:2 (NIV)

Joy is a choice. It's choosing to see the goodness of God in the midst of my circumstances. Choosing joy is seeing God's plan beyond my temporary pain. Things may be falling apart now, but this “light and momentary struggle is achieving for me an eternal glory” that far outweighs everything I'm going through. This testing of my faith will produce endurance, character, strength and trust. But it’s so painful during the process.  I can choose joy because His approval is all I need. No matter what we’re going through, no matter the struggle, no matter the pain – we must choose joy. 

Looking back at the hard times, how has God used them for good in your life now? How can you intentionally choose joy today? 

Be blessed & be a blessing!




Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day!


Happy Independence Day!

Today we celebrate our nations birthday! How blessed we are to live in America - even with all her problems, we are still able to pursue Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.




I pray you will have a safe and happy 4th with your loved ones. So thankful we are physically and spiritually free!

Be blessed and be a blessing!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Eagles Wings





Be Blessed and be a blessing!







All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Lighthouses

Tybee Island
Ponce de Leon Inlet


Jupiter Inlet

Cape Canaveral

Tybee Island

Tybee Island

St. Augustine

Tybee Island

All Photographs in this post/blog © Cheryl Howard. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Living as a Priest for God


The Titus 2 Woman

Titus 2:3-5 New International Version (NIV)

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

The whole goal of a Titus 2 woman is to train younger women in Biblical, simple-to-measure, Spirit-empowered, love-based living.
Paul did not call for Titus as the pastor to train all the women in these qualities God wanted them to cultivate; rather he called upon the godly older women of Christ's church. He singles out the women of faith, those who had already learned to love their husbands, learned to love their children, and learned to be reverent, godly, modest and wise—and charged them with seeking out and meeting with every younger woman in the church.
The older women are to have mastered all the criteria and the younger women are trained in the last seven.
v. 3a “the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior”
First the godly character of the older woman in the faith is profiled. Without a reverent lifestyle behaving like a living sacrifice, dedicated to God—none of the rest even matter. That is why Paul starts here first!
Paul first draws a word from the Roman world to capture the entire bearing of these godly role model women in Christ's church. The Greek word translated “reverent” is used only here in the Bible, and it conveys the idea of priest-like. That word for ‘acting as a representative of a god’ is the word Paul uses to describe the devout and godly character of the Titus 2 woman. Older women are to live like holy priests serving in the presence of God. Their sacred personal devotion to the Lord has slowly come to influence every aspect of their lives.
Godly older woman have simply taken Romans 12:1-21 Corinthians 6:19-20; and Galatians 2:20 seriously.
Bodies presented as living sacrifices, holy, acceptable to God, not conformed to this world, but with transformed and renewed minds, in bodies that are temples of the Holy Spirit glorifying God in your body and spirit, which are God’s; no longer living for me, but Christ living through me.
They have presented themselves to the Lord, they have begun to live life the way God asked them to live—as a walking temple of God, as a consecrated priest of God, as a living sacrifice, and as a bondservant of the Lord.

The goal is to be godly women Living as a Priest for God. How can we as Christian Women help each other grow and live out our faith to be a light in a dark world? 

Let's be encouragers of one another.




Be Blessed and be a blessing!


Related Post: Personal Training

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Be Positive




Being positive does not mean we deny the existence of difficulty; it means we believe God is greater than our difficulties. (Joyce Meyer)


Be Blessed and be a blessing!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Personal Training


The Bible makes everyone both a trainer and a trainee



In a world where education seems to be offered everywhere, the biblical description of the church as God's training center for holy living is often overlooked. this error becomes obvious when a church lacks leaders. Effective leadership in a church is the result of proper training. When young believers have not been trained the church begins to flounder.

Read Titus Chapter 2

Paul instructed Titus to place responsibility of moral leadership on the elders. Older men and women (2:1-5) had to lead the way in personal holiness. If their lives demonstrated the transforming power of the gospel, they would leave a lasting impact on following generations. Young men who saw older men diligently maintaining their faith in Christ would do likewise (2:2). Young women who heard older women encourage them to "love their husbands, to love their children" (2:4) would be more likely to take the counsel to heart if they saw their mentors doing that themselves. Titus himself was to exhort "young men" (2:6). while making sure that he was consistently following the pattern of life he was teaching (2:7).



The degree to which sound training exists in a local church practically determines the health of that church. The pastor may be the designated teacher but the Bible makes everyone both a trainer and a trainee. Church members should rely on each other for spiritual guidance. The older generation should pass on to the next generation their vital Christian faith by word and example. The character that results from this process of spiritual training truly is an eye-catching advertisement for the gospel.


Be Blessed and be a Blessing

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Virtuous Woman

THE 10 VIRTUES OF THE PROVERBS 31 WOMAN



1. Faith – A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31:26, Proverbs 31:29 – 31, Matthew 22:37, John 14:15, Psalm 119:15)

2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a help-meet. (Proverbs 31:11- 12, Proverbs 31:23, Proverbs 31:28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis 2:18)

3.  Mothering – A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31:28, Proverbs 31:26, Proverbs 22:6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18:16)

4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31:14 – 15, Proverbs 31:17, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Genesis 1:29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)

5. Service – A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31:12, Proverbs 31:15, Proverbs 31:20, 1 Corinthians 13:13)

6. Finances – A Virtuous Woman spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31:14, Proverbs 31:16, Proverbs 31:18, 1 Timothy 6:10, Ephesians 5:23, Deuteronomy 14:22, Numbers 18:26)

7.  Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31:13, Proverbs 31:16, Proverbs 31:24, Proverbs 31:31, Philippians 2:14)

8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31:15, Proverbs 31:20 – 22, Proverbs 31:27, Titus 2:5, 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2)

9. Time – A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31:13, Proverbs 31:19, Proverbs 31:27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16:9, Philippians 4:8)

10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10, Proverbs 31:21 – 22, Proverbs 31:24 -25, Isaiah 61:10, 1 Timothy 2:9, 1 Peter 3:1 – 6)



There's nothing more beautiful in all the world than a woman who is righteous and loves God. That's true beauty.

Be blessed and be a blessing.




Friday, June 9, 2017

The Love of the World




Count it all joy… James 1:2-3



Often we don't receive the things we ask of God because the motivation in our hearts is wrong. James addresses the Church as the Bride of Christ. He accuses her of spiritual adultery for her love of the things of the world.

God wants our love and commitment for Himself exclusively. when He sees us devoting ourselves to the world and material things He is jealous of our misplaced devotion.

You can't have it both ways - it's time to stop straddling the fence. We can find freedom and peace in God's Word - God's peace. 

God will protect us if we ask for His help; we don't have to succumb to the lure of worldly things or desires. God wants us to be concerned with Him and with spiritual things. He knows that the worldly things which tempt us would only leave us dissatisfied.

We can't live life in our own strength, we find strength in our dependence on God. No matter how strong we are, no matter how together we thin we are - it's nothing compared to God.

Graces is God’s part…Believing is my part

Be blessed and be a blessing!




Monday, June 5, 2017

Hebrews 13:5




God is With You

I believe that today, whatever you’re facing, God wants to remind you that He is with you. I believe God wants you to know that He is able to provide for you, to protect you, to sustain you, and to keep you safe—no matter what you’re facing.

I’m praying today that God will make everyone reading these words aware of His presence and provision today.

Be blessed and be a blessing; know that He is with you.



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Inside My Eye




A Look Inside My Eye – Before and After

This week, on Wednesday May 24th, I went to the eye doctor and received some really good news. As many of you know I’m recovering from surgery (April 20, 2017) to repair a macular hole in my right eye. I’ve still got more healing but everyday my vision improves. The gas bubbles that was placed in the hole is 75% absorbed and it is almost completely closed – Praise God! He’s Jehovah Rapha – “my healer.”




He who began a good work in you will complete it – God finishes what He starts. He never abandons us and He works all things out for our good. I can thank all my prayer warriors enough, I am so thankful for each one of you. Thank you all so much for all the food (yummy), cards, phone calls, text/IM messages, visits and words of encouragement!


Here is the before...


and the after…




I am just so amazed at technology – that they can actually take pictures of the inside of your eye.

Over these last few weeks since my surgery, I have learned to be patient and still. Those who are close to me and know me well, know that I am always busy and on the go. God uses these times, if we let Him, to work in us. To sharpen our skills and work on our areas of weakness. (Philippians 2:13) Doing, doing, doing can be satisfying on a personal, outward level but only with Jesus will we have true satisfaction from the inside out.

God uses everything, even the hard circumstances to make us stronger and draw us closer to Him. Even in our trials we can experience joy and peace. Wisdom and folly both want to control our lives, and we have to make a choice which one will. God will never contradict His promises. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:2). Prayer is the most effective weapon we have, to pray is to let go and let God take over (Philippians 4:6-7). Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath (Psalm 116:2)

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9 NIV

The greatest gift of all is to be a blessing!





Related post – click here.

Memorial Day


Memorial Day


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” —Joshua 1:9 NIV



Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day and commemorates all men and women who have died in military service for the United States. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season.

Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers who had died during the American Civil War. It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women who died in any war or military action.

Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day. The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War II. Decoration Day and then Memorial Day used to be held on May 30, regardless of the day of the week, on which it fell. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends. This meant that that, from 1971, Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday. All non-essential Government offices are closed, as are schools, businesses and other organizations. Many people see Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to go on a short vacation or visit family or friends. 



What are your plans for this holiday weekend?

Be blessed and be a blessing! 




Friday, May 26, 2017

Relax and Trust Him

"Understanding God's character and incredible love for us allow us to RELAX AND TRUST HIM in every area of our lives."

The Bible says He is Jehovah Jireh, which means "Your Provider." He's Jehovah Rapha, "Your Healer," and Jehovah Shalom, "Your Peace."

The Lord is also referred to as Jehovah Nissi, "The Lord Our Banner." This means He is our "victory." We can expect God to help us win our battles over sin, addictive habits, pain from the past, and anything else that stands in the way of His great plan for our lives.

If God is for us, no one can stand against us. The God of the entire universe - Jehovah Nissi"The Lord Our Banner" - is on your side and He never loses a battle!

Get to know God by reading and studying His Word. Talk to Him like He's your best friend and ask Him to reveal His love and character to you in a greater way.

As you get to know Him - really know Him - it releases new hope and confidence in the One who has the power to change every single are of your life. 

Be blessed and be a blessing!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, MOM!
              
 FOR THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS: "AS A MOTHER
 COMFORTS HER CHILD, SO WILL I COMFORT YOU."
                         ( ISAIAH 66:13 *NIV )


     
 We can not measure the tremendous love that God
  has for His Children in human terms.  However, I do
  believe the closest thing on Earth to that great love, is
  the love a Mother has for her child!

      Therefore, on this day we honor that special lady in
  our life, our Mother.  So,
 LET YOUR FATHER AND YOUR
  MOTHER BE GLAD, AND LET HER WHO BORE YOU
  REJOICE, ( PROVERBS 23:25 )  
and may she
  be filled with God's Love, Hope, Faith, and Peace today
  and everyday!

      The following was sent to me by one of my Sisters-
  In-Christ.  I feel that it is appropriate to
  share it with you today.  It is called:                   
 

Why are you crying, Mom?

 "Why are you crying?" he asked his Mom.  "Because I'm a
 woman" she told him.  "I don't understand," he said.  His
 Mom just hugged him and said, "And you never will"..........

 Later the little boy asked his father, "Why does mother
 seem to cry for no reason?  "All women cry for no reason"
 was all his dad could say........

 The little boy grew up and became a man, still wondering
 why women cry...

 Finally he put in a call to GOD; when GOD got on the phone
 the man said, "GOD, why do women cry so easily?"
 and GOD said.......

 When I made woman, she had to be special. I made her
 shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the World;
 yet, gentle enough to give comfort....

 I gave her an inner strength to endure childbirth and the
 rejection that many times comes from her children......

 I gave her a hardness that allows her to keep going when
 everyone else gives up and take care of her family through
 sickness and fatigue without complaining......

 I gave her the sensitivity to love her children under any and
 all circumstances, even when her child has hurt her very
 badly...

 This same sensitivity helps her to make a child's boo-boo
 feel better and shares in their teenagers anxieties and
 fears.......

 I gave her strength to carry her husband through his faults
 and fashioned her from his rib to protect his heart.....

 I gave her wisdom to know that a good husband never hurts
 his wife, but, sometimes tests her strengths and her resolve
 to stand beside him unfalteringly.....

 I gave her tears to shed. They are hers to use whenever she
 needs them.  They are her secret strength.  They make her
 more like ME.....

                                                                Author Unknown

Happy Mother's Day!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Mountain-Top Challenge


©Cheryl Howard Photo by Cheryl Howard
©Cheryl Howard - Photo by Cheryl Howard 

Hope, like love, transcends all time.


Mountain-Top Challenge

  • Let go of fears
  • Let go of the past
  • Infuse power, a positive mental attitude, enthusiasm and motivation into everyday thinking and way of life.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Things I learned in April




This April has been filled with challenges but through is all my faith in God has strengthen and I know my family is there for me. I am truly blessed with a wonderful family and great friends. No matter what God is faith! Being diagnosed with and having surgery for a Macular Hole; I've had lots of quiet time. Learning to be still for someone who's always on the go was not easy. But I was determined and I persevered.

It was during this time I took on and completed the 30 Day Creative Basics Challenge. Each day was a new assignment and challenge...and it was so much fun. I learned some new skills, discovered some new websites(Unsplash, Pexels), a new app (Mixgram - love this one!) and rediscovered others that I hadn't used in a while (Canva, PicMonkey). After completing the daily challenges - here's my cool certificate!



Here are some of the images I created using images from Pexels and Unsplash but my own images as well. Some were text only graphic. Some of these were used to update my Social Media sites and will also be used in the future on this blog. I also learned how to use a feature in Photoshop to place multiple images on one page with or without the file names called "contact sheet" seen here below.





Looking forward to creating more fun graphics and posting them here and on my social media sites! 

Have a fun creative day!

Friday, May 5, 2017

Attitude



Stay in the Game and Fight to Win

Attitude and Determination

Use time wisely - manage it

Have a great attitude because whatever you give out always comes back to you. Have an all-the-time great attitude. An Attitude of Gratitude

Our attitude determines our altitude.

Character: who are you when no one else is looking. 

Change is a choice. When you change everything around you changes.

Put God first in your life and in everything you say and do.



Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Power of Prayer



The Power of Prayer

As believers, Christ-Followers (CF’s), we are not immune from attacks from the enemy – spiritual warfare – but we have the power of the Father. God’s power to defend and stand against the assaults by the enemy. His resources are limitless and we as CF’s can draw on these resources.

Paul wrote Ephesians largely for the purpose of unveiling the strength inherent in every person who is in relationship with God through Christ (CF’s). In Ephesians, Paul highlights one of the most important yet overlooked aspects of our spiritual armor: prayer



Paul deemed prayer so critical in gaining victory over Satan’s power in our lives that, as one scholar observed, “Ephesians has proportionately more than 55% as many verses directly related to prayer” as Romans, Paul’s longest letter. He knew prayer was able to change the trajectory of their whole lives. Victory in spiritual warfare is inseparable from prayer. 

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.  Ephesians 1:18-21 (NIV)
The hope we have is not some vague feeling that the future will be positive, but it is complete assurance of certain victory through God. This complete certainty comes to us through the Holy Spirit who is working in us. God’s great power is available to help us; there is nothing too difficult for Him.

For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 (NIV)
We all have the fullness of God available to us in union with Christ, through His empowering Spirit. We must appropriate that fullness through faith and through prayer as we daily live for Him. Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians is also for you and for me. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill every aspect of your life to the fullest.

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21(NIV)




Nice vs. Kind

The nice person is focused on himself – he does nice things in order to be perceived (by others and by himself...