The Lessons of Life…

Proverbs 4:13 “Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; keep her, for she is your life.”

The Lessons of Life…

From Paul Harvey:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I’d like better.

I’d really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand-new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it’s all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he’s scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you’ll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don’t ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won’t be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your
tongue on a frozen flagpole.

And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing
with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy if they are with at home with Jesus!

May you feel joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor’s window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hanukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you — tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness.
To me, it’s the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I’m here for you. And if I die before you do, I’ll go to heaven and wait for you.

We secure our friends, not by accepting favors, but by doing them.

Psalm 71:17 “O God, You have taught me from my youth; And to this day I declare Your wondrous works.”

Life with Purpose…

Life with Purpose…

We’ve all heard the following sayings;
‘Grab all the gusto you can because you only go around once’
‘I did it my way’

There is a huge danger in following the ways or the purpose in life as defined by worldly scholars or those professing to be that. According to God this philosophy of taking care of self leads to;

Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.”

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’

Note that all people with one exception who have traveled this earth are sinners. There is One who did not and that is only because He was God and man. And sin leads to;

2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 6:23a “For the wages of sin is death…”

There is an alternative to the penalty of sin as noted by Soloman. God the Holy Spirit used him to write the book of Ecclesiastes. In it God tells us how our lives can have purpose.

Ecc12:1 “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw new whey you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them”

Ecc12:13, 14 ” Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

So, what priority or life purpose are you running with this morning? A good way to know is to ask yourself how you started the day. Was it by inviting God to develop and use you today or was it to serve yourself and get what you can out of today? Listen to the only wisdom that counts.

Mat 6:33a “But seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…”

Have a great day and it is great when you seek and serve Jesus!

God uses the Weak and the Mighty…if…

Heb 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing unto him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek after him.”

God uses the Weak and the Mighty….if….

Have you ever felt like you were incapable of God using you to do His mighty works? You feel that your level of scriptural knowledge is inadequate or that your looks or speaking abilities are such that God could never work out His will using you as His messenger.  I relate to feeling that way at times and it is comforting and challenging to see similar thoughts from many recorded in scripture. The question this morning is this; can I be used by God regardless of my spiritual level of training and regardless of my abilities?

As I study scripture I’ve noted that God uses many who perceive they are incapable of serving because of some weakness they have. I find that if I make myself available to Him and depend on His wisdom instead of my own that I can be used by God to perform His will and it does not get any better than that.  It comes down to an issue of faith.

The following are just a very few of those mentioned in the Bible and their level of confidence in God being able to use them. Many did not question that God could use them but many did. And regardless of their level of faith our God was able to mold, change and use them.

  • Joseph was the youngest of 11 sons prior to Benjamin being born (Gen 34-37). God used him to save His people from death by starvation during a famine. God move them to Egypt where He had set Joseph up as the second in command there. He went through many terrible experiences from being sold by his brothers into slavery to being falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. He accepted them and stayed faithful to God through all of his problems.
  • Moses was told by God that He was going to use him to lead the rescue of Israel from Egypt. Listen to his and God’s response.
    • Ex 4:10-14a “Then Moses said to the Lord, “O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” So the Lord said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.” But he said, “O my Lord, please send by the hand of whomever else You may send.” So the anger of the Lord was kindled against Moses,
    • In spite of his early level of weak faith God used him mightily and he is one of the major names in scripture of those who served our God.
  • Ruth was not even an Israelite but God used her as a part of the family line that Jesus came out of (Mat 1). And all of us Gentiles say; Thank you Jesus…….!
  • Rahab a prostitute in Jericho also not an Israelite was used by God as a part of the family line to send His Son to a lost world through (Mat 1). And all of us Gentiles again say; Thank you Jesus…….! Rahab is mentioned in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews chapter 11. Wow!
  • Gideon felt based on his families’ low standing in Israel he could not be used by God to lead them. And he also saw himself as the lowest member of his family. God showed him that if he depended on Him it was possible. He was used by God to lead Israel in conquering the Philistines while being outnumbered 300 to 135,000. That’s a ratio of 450 to 1. The result leaves no question about Who defeated them. Listen to Gideon’s first reaction to the call of God;
    • Judges 6:15 “And he said unto him, Oh, Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”
  • King Saul of the OT is a name we typically relate to a troubled man but did you know that he started off on the right foot in serving God but quickly fell into the sin of pride. He came from a family of high standing in Israel. God truly chooses His servants from all levels of society and not just the philosophers or those with very minimal spiritual knowledge.
    • I Sam 9:2 “And he had a choice and handsome son whose name was There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.”
  • Mary a young woman who loved God and was not from any family of high spiritual importance within Israel was blessed by God her Savior and used as part of the family line that introduced God the Son to a lost world.
    • Luke 1:31-33 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.  And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
    • Luke 1:47 “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”
  • Saul of the NT soon to be renamed Paul was a Pharisee or a Spiritual Leader in Israel who as a Pharisee did not believe Jesus to be God. A Pharisee was one of the highest levels of leaders of the Jewish faith. God changed his faith and his life and he became one of the mightiest servants of Jesus found in scripture.
  • The 12 Apostles included 7 Fishermen, 1 Tax Collector and 4 with unknown occupations but probably tradesmen with limited to no spiritual training.
    • e. Acts 4:13 “Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
    • Isn’t it awesome our Savior can use folks such as us fishermen…………..!?
  • Elijah a mighty prophet of God was only one of two people to ever be taken from this earth without dying physically. Much can be learned from his service for our God when we commit to the same. (1 and 2 Kings)
  • Solomon was the son of King David who had wisdom according to God that no man could match or ever will be able to. The Holy Spirit using Solomon’s life left for us (II Pet 1:20, 21) the following truth;
    • Eccl 12:13, 14 “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. 14For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”

From those mentioned above you can see that God can use people from every level of society to accomplish His will. So, we should never say never to being able to be used by God. There is one very important ingredient in each of the above being used by God and it applies to our lives as well. You must 1st;

  • John 3:3 “ Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

And then you must;

  • Rom 12:1, 2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

You must then recognize Who will be the source of strength to accomplish God’s will.

  • Phil 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
  • II Cor 12:9 “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me”

Hell and your E-mail Address…Caution…

John 17:3 “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. “

Hell and your E-mail Address …Caution…

A couple from Minneapolis decided to go to Florida for a long weekend to thaw out during one particularly icy winter. Because both had jobs, they had difficulty coordinating their travel schedules. It was decided that the husband would fly to Florida on a Thursday, and his wife would follow him the next day.

Upon arriving as planned, the husband checked into the hotel. There he decided to open his laptop and send his wife an e-mail back in Minneapolis. However, he accidentally left off one letter in her address, and sent the e-mail without realizing his error.

In Houston, a widow had just returned from her husband’s funeral. He was a minister of many years who had been “called home to glory following a heart attack. The widow checked her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. Upon reading the first message, she fainted and fell to the floor.

The widow’s son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife

From: Your Departed Husband

Subject: I’ve Arrived!

I’ve just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then. Hope your journey is as uneventful as mine was.

P.S. Sure is hot down here!

That’s the humor for the day.

Now back to reality. Hell is real. Never forget that. And of course, there is someone who would wish that we did.

Prov  27:21a “Hell and destruction are never full…”

 Rev 20:14,15 “Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs…

James 1:5,6a “If any of you lacks wisdom let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith…”

CHRISTian Bumper Stickers and Signs

Be Fishers of Men…. You fish, He catches & Cleans ’em.
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A clean conscience makes a soft pillow.
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A family altar can alter a family.
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A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing.
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Are you wrinkled with burden? Come on into Church for a faith lift!
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Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.
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Do your best and then sleep in peace. God is Awake.
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Don’t put a question mark where God put a period.
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Don’t wait for 6 strong men to take you to church.
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Exercise daily. Walk with the Lord!
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Fear knocked. Faith answered. No one was there
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For all you do, His blood’s for you!
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Forbidden fruits create many jams.
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Give God what’s right, not what’s left!
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Give Satan an inch and he’ll be a ruler.
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God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.
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God doesn’t want shares of your life; He wants controlling interest!
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God grades on the cross, not the curve.
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God loves everyone, but probably prefers “fruits of the spirit” over “religious nuts”!
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God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
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Having truth decay? Brush up on your Bible!
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He who angers you controls you!
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He who is good at making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
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He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
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If God is your Co-pilot – Swap seats!
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In the sentence of life the Devil may be a comma, but
DO NOT let him be the PERIOD!
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Kindness is difficult to give away because it keeps coming back.
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Man’s way leads to a hopeless end! God’s way leads to an endless hope!
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Most people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.
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Never give the devil a ride! He will always want to drive!
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Nothing ruins the truth like stretching it.
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Plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.
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“Pray” is a four letter word that you can say anywhere except in a public school.
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Prayer -Don’t give God instructions – just report for duty!
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Read The Bible…It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!
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The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.
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The Will of God will never take you to where the Grace of God will not protect you.
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This Church is “Prayer Conditioned”!
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To be almost saved is to be totally lost.
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Wal-Mart isn’t the only saving place!
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WARNING: Exposure to the Son may prevent burning!
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Watch your step carefully! Everyone else does!
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We don’t change the message, the message changes us.
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We set the sail; God makes the wind.
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We’re too blessed to be depressed.
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When God ordains, He sustains.
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Wisdom has two parts: 1) Having a lot to say. 2) Not saying it.
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Worry is the darkroom in which “negatives” are developed.
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You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage him.

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Directions for Living Your Life…

All of us need improvement in our lives. Check out the following to see which will piece of advice best meets your needs.

James 1:2,3 “For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is
like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself,

goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. “

Directions for Living Your Life…

  1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.
    2. Memorize your favorite verse(s) of scripture.
    3. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want. Check things out with scripture and run from those that do not line up with God’s word.
    4. When you say, “I love you”, mean it.
    5. When you say, “I’m sorry”, look the person in the eye and also mean it.
    6. Believe in Jesus and be a part of His work on this earth before He returns a 2nd time.
    7. Believe in love God’s way.
    8. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
    9. Love deeply and passionately and do it unconditionally as God does.
    10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling. Not even fighting may be the best solution. Listen much more than talking.
    11. Don’t judge people by their relatives or your values. Or by what you perceive their motives to be. If scripture does clearly ID that it is wrong, maybe you are the one with the log in your eye.
    12. Talk slowly. Listen long…………..
    13. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and
    ask, “Why do you want to know?” or simply be silent. Lying is never ok.
    14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risks.
    15. Call your Mom (and your dad) today. Oh, don’t forget the Grandparents, now that I am one! And maybe twice a day for them, they need it!
    16. Remember as you look into the mirror that Jesus will always love you.
    17. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
    18. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; Responsibility for all your actions.
    19. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
    20. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. And do not be afraid to say you were wrong.
    21. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.
    22. Marry the one you love to talk to and is a friend. As you get older,
    the conversational skills will be as important as any other.
    23. Spend much time alone with God so He can direct your path and do it first thing in the morning.
    24. REMEMBER, God’s values do not change over time. His absolutes are for eternity. Only the wisdom of this world changes.
    25. Silence is frequently the best answer.
    26. Read more books and watch less TV. Especially read The Book that God has authored, the Bible.
    27. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll get to enjoy it a second time.
    28. Trust in God and lean not upon your own understanding.
    29. A loving atmosphere in your home is so important. Do all you can to create a tranquil harmonious home.
    30. In disagreements with loved ones, deal with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. Don’t go to bed angry.
    31. Don’t read between the lines it almost always is wrong.
    32. Share your faith. It’s a way to achieve immortality and help someone else to do the same.
    33. Be gentle with all.
    34. Pray from the heart and not with repetition. There’s immeasurable power in it.
    35. Never interrupt.
    36. Mind your own business.
    37. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
    38. If you make a lot of money, put it to use as God intends by helping
    others while you are on this earth. Make sure God gets the first fruits and not the last or leftovers.
    39. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes exactly the way God has planned it.
    40. Learn the rules, then keep them. The rules are written in the Book (Bible).
    41. Remember that the best relationship is one where your love for each other is greater than your need for each other.
    42. Judge your success by what you willingly gave up in order to get it.
    43. Remember that your character is how the world judges you.
    44. Remember that what you did with the knowledge of Jesus as your
    Savior is how God the Father will judge you. John 3:3, 14:6

Now how do you look in the mirror?

James 1:5,6 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

Putting things into the Right Perspective…

I Tim 6:6 “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
***Putting things into the Right Perspective!!!

“Come in,” God said to me,
“So, you would like to interview Me?”

“If you have the time,” I said.

God smiled and said:
“My time is called eternity and is enough to do everything;
What questions do you have in mind to ask me?”
” Probably none that are new to you.

What’s the one thing that surprises you most about mankind?”

God answered:

– That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up, and then long to be children again.
– That they lose their health to make money and then lose their money to restore their health.
– That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, such that they live neither for the present nor the future.

– That they willing trade fellowship with Me for the pleasures of sin for a moment that bring spiritual and physical death.
– That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they had never lived…”

God’s hands took mine and we were silent.

After a long period, I said,
“May I ask you another question?”

“As a Parent, what would you ask your children to do?”

God replied with a smile:

– To learn that they cannot make anyone love them.
– The first step is to display My love which is unconditional.”
– To learn that it takes years to build trust, and a few seconds to destroy it.
– To learn that what is most valuable is not the things they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives.
– To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others. There will be others better and worse than they are.
– To learn that a rich person is not one who has the most, but is one who gives the most.
– To learn that they should control their attitudes, otherwise their attitudes will control them.
– To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love, and that it takes many years to heal them.
– To learn to forgive by practicing forgiveness.
– To learn that there are persons that love them dearly, but simply do not know how to show their feelings.
– To learn that money can buy things that will perish but it cannot buy happiness and fulfillment and peace that last for eternity.
– To learn that while at times they may be entitled to be upset, that does not give them the right to upset those around them.
– To learn that great dreams of eternal value do not require inner strength, but they do require My strength to achieve.
– To learn that true friends are scarce, he/she who has found one has found a true treasure.
– To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they forgive others and themselves. Even when you are the offended.
– To learn that they are masters of what they keep to themselves and slaves of what they say.
– To learn that they shall reap what they plant; if they plant gossip they will harvest intrigues, if they plant love they will harvest happiness.
– To learn that happiness is a blessing and a decision. They decide to be happy with what they are and have, or die from envy and jealousy of what they lack.
– To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see something totally different.
– To learn that those who are honest with themselves and those around them will be content and at peace regardless of the circumstances.
– To learn that even though they may think they have nothing to give, when a friend cries with them, they find the strength to appease the pain.
– By learning when to hold on to loved ones, and when to let go of those they love, they will be side by side forever.
– To learn that even though the word “love” has many different meanings, it loses value when it is overstated or falsely spoken.
– To learn that they can never do something extraordinary for Me to love them; I simply do.
– To learn that the shortest distance they could be from Me is the distance to their knees.”

Mat 6:33 “But seek you first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness…”