Everyone Has A Story
Ever felt that if someone could just spend some time in your shoes, they would not be so quick to judge you? Have you ever jumped to a conclusion about another woman without knowing the facts of her story?
A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The first morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hanging the wash outside.
'That laundry is not clean', she said. 'Apparently she doesn't know how to wash correctly or maybe she needs better laundry soap'.
Her husband looked on but remained silent. Every time their neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
A month later, the woman was surprised to see nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: 'Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?'
Her husband said, 'I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.'
This story tells us that what we see when watching others, depends on the cleanliness of our own window!
Every woman has a story; a story that involves challenges and victories, pain and joy, fear, and peace. But what if we were able to spend some time in her shoes? Would what see, think, or feel about her change?
We do not know all that has taken place in the life of the divorced mom who must leave her kids with a sitter so she can work 2 jobs to put food on the table. We might look at her as someone who is more interested in her career than her family. But perhaps she was involved in an abusive relationship or was deserted by her husband, left alone to take care of her children without help.
Or what about the young mom who is on government assistance and going to college? Are we tempted to make a snap judgment about her and assume that she is using the system or taking advantage?
Ladies, we need to remember that how we see others is not always who they are. It’s possible that we are looking through a window colored by that person’s past actions or associations.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
This verse tells us that we become a new person when we accept Jesus. If we believe that is true for us, then we must believe that is true for others.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, please reveal to me any woman I might be judging without knowing the facts of her life. Please guide me to reach out to her and get to know her story. Amen.
Written By: Sherry Poundstone
For more from Sherry, check out her website: www.sherrypoundstone.com.
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If we are to make God our priority, we must understand why we worship Him.
We are to praise and worship God for both who He is as well as what He does for us.
The Bible says: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” Exodus 20:3, and, “Praise Him for His mighty acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!” Psalm 150:2
This tells us that as believers, we are to worship only the living God, not saints, religious persons, angels, or shrines.
Many times, we associate worship with music and singing. That is a wonderful form of worship, but it is only one form. We are to live a life of worship and that can include prayer, fasting, obedience, kneeling, and so much more.
We worship God because of who He is and to express to Him our love, devotion, and dedication.
He is not the “big guy in the sky” or the “man upstairs”. He is the creator of the universe, the alpha, and the omega (the beginning and the end), the all-knowing and the all loving God.
We were created to live in an atmosphere of praise and worship to the Lord. Everything changed in the garden and Genesis 3: 9-12 tells us that the fall of man introduced self-centeredness and self- pity and that it stifled our praise.
Remember, the church was born in a worship service. At Pentecost, it was the worship of the Lord because of the miraculous that ushered in the power of God’s Kingdom.
Pastor Jack Hayford said “Just as God created man and woman in His image, the gods we choose to worship manifest their attributes in the worshiper. So, in deciding what or whom to worship, you are making life decisions regarding your values, your priorities, and how you are to live.”
We become like who we worship. So, the more we worship God, the more we become like Him.
Worship also allows us to move the focus away from ourselves and toward God. Our greatest blessings come when we take the focus off us and onto Him.
If you are having a bad day, facing a trial or difficult circumstance…worship! It changes everything because it changes our focus from our problem to the problem solver.
Let’s focus this month on increasing our worship of the Lord for who He is through music, prayer, the Word, thanksgiving and serving others. Let’s dig deeper into the Bible and study worship in both the old testament and the new.
Written by: Sherry Poundstone
For more from Sherry, go to www.sherrypoundstone.com.
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Excellence - Not Perfection
I recently read an article from an online women’s magazine that was based on the premise that excellence in life is impossible all the time. The article explained that a woman can accomplish much more if she gives up the goal of excellence.
The article promoted mediocrity, even if that was not the intention of the writer.
I believe the author was confusing excellence with perfection.
Webster defines perfection as “the quality or state of being perfect or complete” and excellence as “the state of possessing good qualities in an eminent degree; exalted merit; superiority in virtue.”
Only God is perfect and complete. We are not going to get there during our life on earth. But we can possess good qualities and be women of integrity and virtue.
Living as a woman of excellence is impossible without God. We need His guidance through His Word.
Remember, doing your best is excellence, not perfection. Excellence honors the Lord.
Read and meditate on the following scriptures and focus on living as a woman of excellence and virtue.
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven.
WRITTEN BY: SHERRY POUNDSTONE
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How important is kindness? In a recent study of 37 cultures around the world, 16,000 subjects were asked about their most desired traits in a mate. For both sexes, the first preference was kindness!
As women of character, we must develop the desire to be kind. This character trait is critical in reflecting Christ in our lives.
I think most people would say kindness is going out of their way to help someone. That is true, but there is so much more! The dictionary defines kindness as: the quality of being warmhearted, considerate, humane and sympathetic.
The character trait of kindness is an important one and, in most of us, must be developed. It simply doesn’t come naturally to many of us.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22-23
Paul’s definition of the fruit of the Spirit lists kindness as the fifth fruit. This is a natural progression of the fruits. If we exhibit the first four fruits of the Spirit-- love, joy peace and patience-- then we will show kindness.
Violence and other terrible influences in media can cause people to become desensitized toward the needs and feelings of others. Our children must be taught what it is to be kind and we must pray for them to have the desire to be kind to others.
Some people believe that to display kindness is to appear weak, but it is just the opposite.
To be kind takes courage. Displaying kindness toward another person requires discipline and a determination to take the focus off ourselves.
Paul warns of us an end time world without kindness in 2 Timothy, Chapter 3.
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good.
2 Timothy 3:1-3
Where Do We Start?
Keep a soft heart-We must keep our hearts soft and tender toward others and allow ourselves to feel compassion. This is often a difficult area for those of us who have been hurt in the past. But it is a fruit of the Spirit and therefore it is important enough to focus on. Ask Jesus to help you keep a tender attitude and a soft, pliable heart toward others.
Look for opportunities-Watch for people and situations that the Lord places in your path that could use a word of kindness. Let’s purpose to be aware and alert to situations and needs of others.
Take action- We must decide to take action as soon as we see the need. If we hesitate, or think “I will do it later”, the opportunity may vanish. Taking action will often include some kind of self-sacrifice on our part. This often is a sacrifice of our time, or an altering in our own personal schedule. Taking action may be simply speaking encouragement to someone, giving them hope and showing them, they are not alone.
Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 1 John 3:18
Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give to someone in need, don’t do as the hypocrites do--blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I tell you the truth, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone in need, don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. Matthew 6:1-4
We must be careful that our acts of kindness are not motivated by pride.
What is every act of kindness we ever displayed was kept quiet and no one knew? Would we still be as motivated to act? Genuine kindness is lending a helping hand when you expect nothing in return.
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. Philippians 2:3-4
Live It Out
What does the word kindness mean to you? What do we accomplish when we show kindness?
Ask God to place kindness and mercy in your heart. Take a closer look at those who have not treated you kindly or mistreat others and ask God to give you a merciful heart and kind attitude toward those people.
Written By: Sherry Poundstone
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