Category Archives: Love

Anchor

Thank God for Moms

A compilation

free-bible-studies-online-anchorMother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children.
—William Makepeace Thackeray

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Her children rise up and call her blessed.
—Proverbs 31:28

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To a child’s ear, “mother” is magic in any language.
—Arlene Benedict

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Go forth in peace, for you have followed the good road. Go forth without fear, for He who created you has made you holy, has always protected you, and loves you as a mother.
—St. Clare of Assisi

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As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you.
—Isaiah 66:13

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My prayer for you, mother.

Heavenly Father,
Hold my precious mother close to Your heart as I hold her close to mine.
Let her know today and every day how much I love her.
Lord, comfort her mind and reassure her
that her motherly care was everything I needed and wanted, and that I love her dearly.
Lord, comfort her body as she ages and grant her health and vitality as she goes through her days here on earth.
Bring all good things to my mother, dear God, and bless her every day, in every way.
In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

—Author unknown

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She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to the children, who ate with avidity.

“She hath kept none for herself,” grumbled the sergeant.

“Because she is not hungry,” said a soldier.

“Because she is a mother,” said the sergeant.

—Victor Hugo

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What Dinah Craik wrote about friends can be beautifully applied to mothers: “Oh, the comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but to pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”
—Abi F. May

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You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be—
I had a mother who read to me.
—Strickland Gillilan

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I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.
—John Wesley

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A wise woman once said to me: “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.”
—Hodding Carter

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Old-fashioned motherhood never goes out of style, because it’s all about love. I made people to need love, and I intended for them to first experience that love through their mothers. Mothers are the embodiment of love and care and tenderness—love that even the tiniest baby can feel and respond to.

Love is the best thing in life! It’s the most important lesson anyone can ever learn and the greatest gift anyone can ever receive—and mothers teach it and give it like no one else. Life would go on fine without many things, but not without mothers. Old-fashioned motherhood is here to stay!

—Jesus, speaking in prophecy

 
Why God Made Moms

Answers given by second-grade schoolchildren to the following questions:

 
Why did God make mothers?

  1. She’s the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
  2. Mostly to clean the house.
  3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

 
How did God make mothers?

  1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
  2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
  3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

 
What ingredients are mothers made of?

  1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
  2. They had to get their start from men’s bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

 
Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

  1. We’re related.
  2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people’s moms like me.

 
What kind of a little girl was your mom?

  1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
  2. I don’t know because I wasn’t there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
  3. They say she used to be nice.

 
What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

  1. His last name.
  2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
  3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

 
Why did your mom marry your dad?

  1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
  2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
  3. My grandma says that mom didn’t have her thinking cap on.

 
Who’s the boss at your house?

  1. Mom doesn’t want to be boss, but she has to because dad’s such a goofball.
  2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
  3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

 
What’s the difference between moms and dads?

  1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
  2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
  3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power ’cause that’s who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
  4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

 
What does your mom do in her spare time?

  1. Mothers don’t do spare time.
  2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

 
What would it take to make your mom perfect?

  1. On the inside she’s already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
  2. Diet. You know, her hair. I’d dye it, maybe blue.

 
If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

  1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I’d get rid of that.
  2. I’d make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it, not me.
  3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

—Source unknown

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

Anchor

Self-Control and Avoiding Temptation—Part 2

From the Roadmap series

free-bible-studies-online-anchorSome people are strongly affected by their emotions. That’s not altogether bad, unless the emotions are negative. If you have a tendency to get angry and blow off steam, speed when driving because you’re frustrated or upset, binge-drink when you’re sad or lonely, or other such actions, it’s important to learn to control your emotions. Managing your emotions doesn’t mean you stop feeling or expressing yourself.

 
 
Managing your emotions means:

You don’t overreact to situations.
You take a moment to put things in perspective.
You remain firmly in control, so that your emotions enhance your life, rather than ruin it.
You make your emotions work for you. Not against you.
—Burke Hedges, You, Inc.

Consider this true story.

When the athlete was only a boy, it was obvious to everybody that he was blessed with special physical gifts. He loved all sports, and excelled at every one he ever tried.

When he was nine years old, his father handed him a warped wooden tennis racquet. From the first swing of the racquet, the boy was hooked! It wasn’t long before he was beating all the kids his age throughout the country.

By the time he was 12 he was regularly beating the best adult players in his country, and he could give tennis pros a run for their money. Everyone predicted he would be a world champion one day; that is, if he could only learn how to control his temper.

You see, when something went wrong, like when he missed an easy shot or if an umpire made a bad call, the boy had a fit. His temper got so out of control that he began losing matches he should have won.

One day his father came out to watch him in the finals of a big tournament. Sure enough, the boy started losing his temper, shouting, cursing, throwing his racquet. After 10 minutes of witnessing this obnoxious behavior, the father walked onto the court, and announced to everyone present, “This match is over. My son defaults.” And with that he walked over to his son and said in a stern voice, “Come with me.”

When they got home the father placed the racquet in a closet and said, “You are not to touch this racquet or any other racquet for six months, end of discussion.”

At the end of the six months, his father handed the racquet to his son with these words: “If I hear so much as one curse word, or see so much as one toss of your racquet in anger, I’ll take it from you for good. Either you control your temper or I will control it for you.”

The boy was so overjoyed to be able to play that he took to the sport with more passion than ever before. By the time he was 16, he was winning professional tournaments all over Europe.

With each tournament, the young man was getting better and better, and the press started calling him “teen angel”! You see, after his father’s suspension, the boy learned to manage his emotions even under the most stressful conditions.

Whether it was the first point of an easy match or the last nerve-racking point of a hard-fought final, his expression and demeanor remained the same. He was in complete control of his emotions.

He went on to become what many experts consider the greatest player ever. He won 14 major championships in all, including six French Open titles, the first when he was only 18 years old, and five straight Wimbledon titles. The one-time tennis brat, later known as “Teen-Angel,” was Bjorn Borg.

Borg would be the first to admit that learning to manage his emotions was the turning point in his tennis career,if not his life.Whether you are five years old or 55 years old, managing your emotions means understanding that you can’t always control what happens to you. But as Bjorn Borg learned, you CAN control your emotional response.

—Burke Hedges, You, Inc. (adapted)

Bjorn Borg learned to control his emotions as a teenager, and the results were tremendous success and excellent character. Borg’s father stepped in and brought the lessons home for him. Our heavenly Father may, in some cases, do the same, if necessary, in order to teach us self-restraint and self-control. At other times, however, He may allow us to continue in the wrong direction we’ve chosen until eventually we see for ourselves where our lack of self-restraint has taken us, which is usually not where we had originally intended to go. If we want to be “quick studies,” we won’t wait for the Lord to intervene, or expect that He always will. Sometimes—often, in fact—the Lord is willing to let us learn the hard way. So it’s important that we learn to be responsible for our actions and emotions, personally.

Acting on runaway emotions will have consequences. To not think things through can have life-altering repercussions. And unfortunately, often those consequences can never be undone, nor those repercussions reversed.

Today’s society offers more freedom and more choices. We also face more temptations, more distractions, and more permissiveness. Therefore, it’s crucial that we fully understand and respect the power of our emotions, and that we learn to take responsibility for them and manage them well.

It’s never too late to learn to control your temper or manage your emotions. There are many practical tips on this, which can be effective, but the most effective way to grow in this area is through communion with the Lord, in prayer, reading God’s Word, and committing our lives and emotions to Him.

 
Live without regrets

Another part of self-control is related to discipline. For example, do you have enough self-control to walk away from something appealing or “fun” when it’s not the right thing to do? Or to resist doing something crazy, like accepting a dangerous dare from a friend? Do you have enough self-control to keep from overdrinking so as to avoid making a fool of yourself, or worse yet, causing some serious damage? Maybe your drunken antics hurt your relationship with your significant other. Or maybe you wrecked your car, hurt someone, or lost your job. Perhaps you flunked out of school or caused people to question your character.

Taking charge of your life requires discipline. Yes, tons of it. But discipline is neither readily attained nor easily maintained. It demands the mental stamina to overcome empty passions and faulty habits. It also requires the fortitude to resist the pull of so many temptations that otherwise might lure us toward meaningless sideshows. But more than anything, it demands a relentless focus on what matters most.
—Stephen Covey

Researchers have found twenty things that people do when they are young that they will likely regret when they are forty. Some of the things noted include smoking, posting risqué photos on the Internet, unwise social networking, getting tattoos in visible places, body piercings and plugs, overspending and getting into debt, random unprotected sex, dropping out of school, and being too busy or disinterested to spend time with the people they love.

There is a wide range of opinions on the validity of these actions, and some people might not agree with these points being a risk or something to avoid. But the point is this: You will not always have the mindsets, attitudes, or approach to life that you have today, and one day you might look back on what you’re doing now, on certain actions that you can’t take back or undo, and say, “What in the world was I thinking?!”

Leaders ought not to worry greatly about occasional mistakes, but they must vigilantly guard against those things that will make them feel ashamed.
—Jon Huntsman

We are making choices now that will affect the course of the rest of our life. Undoubtedly, we want that course to be a good one. That is why it’s important that we first of all know what the Lord wants, as well as where we’re headed and why, in order to then develop the right habits and the proper disciplines needed to help us follow that path. We each hold our future in our hands; we determine what it will be by our daily choices.

God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. But what I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it! When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place something that I have traded for it. I want it to be gain, and not loss; good, and not evil; success, and not failure; in order that I shall not regret the price that I have paid for it.
—Attributed to W. Heartsill Wilson

 
 

Copyright © 2017 The Family International.

The Spirit of Love!

free-bible-studies-online-the-spirit-of-love

He knew the joys of Earth
Would pass away and soon depart,
For he’d tasted HEAVEN’S Love,
The Saviour dwelt within his heart!

Yet he stumbled down life’s road
And seemed to wander aimlessly,
Torn between the World and Christ,
Who had beckoned, “Follow Me!”

He wanted to obey,
To heed the Shepherd’s call,
But he didn’t have the strength,
When e’er he’d try, he’d fall!

Till late one night he found Her,
And like a Goddess from above,
She took his hand and sweetly whispered,
“I am the SPIRIT of GOD’S LOVE!

“Through the Son, you know the Father,
But you need to receive ME.
For I am the loving MOTHER
Of the Holy Trinity!

“Let Me thrill you, let Me fill you
With My power in your soul!”
“I am YOURS!” the pilgrim answered,
“Take my life, take FULL control!”

Empowered by Her kisses,
Transformed by Her loving hands,
Renewed by Her caresses,
He became ANOTHER man!

He cared less about himself,
And more for OTHERS, and was bold
To tell them of his Saviour
And lead scores into His Fold!

So many christians today are like this!–Even though they have come to know Jesus, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6), they have received Him and His wonderful Love into their hearts, their relationship with Him is somehow INCOMPLETE, something is MISSING, they are somehow lacking the life and love and joy that He has promised to all who love and follow Him!

Such Christians often become so weak, so unmotivated, so powerless, that they settle for a cold, lifeless, TRADITIONAL Christianity which has very little or nothing to do with the THRILLING and CHALLENGING kind of life that Jesus offered to His disciples, as we read about in the Gospels of the New Testament! This dry, almost lifeless counterfeit Christianity has so little to do with Christ and His teachings that it would more aptly be called CHURCHianity, as the foundation and basis for much of such religion today is church buildings & the church services and churchy rules and taboos which have “made the commandment of GOD of NONE EFFECT by their traditions!” (Mark 7:6-13)

It is so sad, so pitiful, that so many Christians are ignorant of the fact that God could fill their lives with His Love and joy and power in such a way that would THRILL and FULFIL and SATISFY them beyond their wildest dreams! Jesus promised this power to His disciples when He told them that after His resurrection they would “be endued with POWER from on High”, that He would send a special COMFORTER to comfort, lead and give them the power and strength to “GO into all the World and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature!” (Luke 24:49; John 14:26; Mark 16:15)

This wonderful power that God has provided for His children is the HOLY SPIRIT, Who, to many people’s surprise, is pictured in the Bible as a beautiful WOMAN!–She is the COMFORTER, the SPIRIT of LOVE, the MOTHER FIGURE of the Trinity! In the beginning when God created Man, the Bible tells us that He said, “Let US make Man in OUR image, after OUR likeness–male AND female created He them!” (Genesis 1:26,27)–So God’s Trinity is male AND female!

In the Bible’s Book of Proverbs, King Solomon describes God’s Spirit of Love and Wisdom as a “SHE” that was with God “from the beginning when He had not yet made the Earth and when He prepared the heavens.” (Proverbs 8:1-35) God’s precious Holy Spirit is His Own Heavenly Mate, the spiritual Mother of His Son, Jesus, and the Mother of us ALL in SPIRIT!

Of course, everyone who has ever received Jesus into his heart has received a MEASURE of the Holy Spirit, “being born again of the SPIRIT”. (John 3:8) But to receive the FULL anointing or infilling, or what the Bible calls “BAPTISM” of the Holy Spirit, is usually a SEPARATE experience that happens AFTER you have received Jesus.

A glass of water makes a good illustration. A glass may not be a FULL glass of water but if it has SOME water in it at least it’s not completely empty, it IS a glass of WATER. Well, that’s how a lot of Christians are. They have just a LITTLE bit of water, a little BIT of God’s Spirit, just enough to SAVE them.

But being BAPTISED with the Holy Spirit is as if the water was poured in till the glass was FILLED UP and RUNNING OVER! It is such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit that you fill up and run over! Jesus said, “He that believes on Me, out of his innermost parts shall flow RIVERS of LIVING WATER!”–This spake He of the SPIRIT which they that believe on Him SHOULD receive! (John 7:38,39)

This baptism or infilling of the Holy Spirit is a baptism of LOVE!–Love for God and love for others!–Love enough to REACH them with the Gospel, to WIN them to the Lord, such a Love that you just love EVERYBODY! In fact, the Holy Spirit of God IS Love because “GOD is LOVE”! (1 John 4:8)

So to be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be filled with the LOVE of God! Of course, at the same time it is also a baptism of the POWER of God, the power that enables you to tell other people about Jesus, to share His Love with others.

Just before leaving this World and ascending to be with His Father, Jesus told His disciples, “You shall receive POWER, AFTER the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be WITNESSES unto Me in ALL the World!” (Acts 1:8) Receiving the power of His Holy Spirit will make you want to be a WITNESS and OBEY His command and tell OTHERS about Jesus, and show them that He loves them!

Receiving God’s wonderful Spirit of Love not only fills us with His Love and power, but also gives us what the Bible calls “GIFTS of the Spirit”! (1 Corinthians 12) These gifts include supernatural WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE, gifts of HEALING, working of MIRACLES, the ability to PROPHESY, and speak in new TONGUES and LANGUAGES, etc! (1Corinthians 12:4-10) These marvellous gifts of which we read so much about in the New Testament are still as real and available TODAY as they were in the days of the Apostles, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!” (Hebrews 13:8)

So if you want to be a lively, active Christian who OBEYS the Lord, preaches the Gospel and wins OTHERS into His Kingdom, thereby laying up for yourself an ETERNAL CROWN and reward because of your faithfulness to Him, you certainly need to be filled with His precious Holy Spirit!–You cannot do the Master’s WORK without the Master’s POWER!

“Have YOU received the Holy Ghost since you believed?” (Acts 19:2) Have you received this overflowing power of God’s Love in your own life since you received Jesus? Do you have any of the beautiful “gifts of the Spirit”, God the Father’s wonderful gifts for His children to enjoy, and tools for your work for Him? You can have them right NOW! All you have to do is ASK!

Jesus promised, “Ask and it SHALL be given you, seek and ye SHALL find, knock and it SHALL be opened unto you!” (Matthew 7:7) When you ask God for the Holy Spirit, you’ll KNOW that you’ve received Her because He’s PROMISED Her!–Just like when you received JESUS into your heart, you knew He came in because the Bible SAID He would! (Revelation 3:20)

She’s calling YOU, to come and follow and serve Jesus, to live for ETERNITY, to know such JOY and THRILLS and FULFILMENT beyond anything you’ve ever imagined! Heed Her loving call and ask God to fill you with His precious Holy Spirit right NOW! Why wait? He is more willing to give than you are to receive!

Receive God’s Spirit of Love and power now by simply praying this little prayer:

“Dear Jesus, I love You, and know that I need more of Your Love and Power in my life. So I ask You to please fill me with Your Holy Spirit right now, to give me the strength to truly follow You and tell others about You and Your Love! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen!”

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International

Activated

The Wise and Unwise Leader

By David Brandt Berg, adapted

free-bible-studies-online-the-wise-and-unwise-leader

A good executive is not a boss—he is a servant! Jesus wasn’t just trying to teach His disciples humility when He said, “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26) A good executive simply is not a dictator. He listens to his employees. When the top people don’t communicate with those under them, then of course they don’t understand them or their problems. When that happens, they’re headed for trouble!

Leaders at any level should listen to those they lead. Leaders are responsible to make the final decision, but being a leader does not mean that you have all the ideas and do all the thinking and all the consulting just within yourself. A good executive will listen to others.

When it comes to plans, goals, motivation, and other overall aspects of the work, the leaders are supposed to be skilled or they shouldn’t be the leaders. But when it comes to practical matters, leaders ought to listen to others who may know more about it than they do. A good leader will listen to his workers’ suggestions, discuss, agree with them on a course of action, and then leave them alone to carry out the work, just monitoring the progress. The executive’s job is really mostly to keep things moving, while others recommend, initiate, and by all means carry out the various actions.

Nearly every CEO or president is surrounded by counselors that advise him on what to do. Did you know that even God works that way? He calls in His chief counselors and angels and asks them, “What do you think we should do about this?” He listens to their suggestions and then has the wisdom to know who is right. (See 1 Kings 22:19–22; Job 1:6–12) And God not only listens to His heavenly counselors and angels, but don’t forget, He even listens to us when we pray.

If God Himself won’t do all the thinking for us, then who are we to try to make all the decisions, do all the thinking, give all the instructions, and carry them all out besides? A leader just can’t operate alone!

Only a novice, only a brand-new, not-yet-dry-behind-the-ears junior executive tries to run everything and tell everybody what to do. Any smart executive is going to pump people power. He is not going to try to be the pump, or the pump handle, or the water, or the bucket. Instead, he’s going to be the guiding hand that takes hold of the handle and pumps to create a lively discussion so he and all concerned can benefit from others’ ideas and experience.

A wise leader will try to keep others happy, because people do a better job when they are happy and doing work they like to do and want to do. If you’re going to have an effective team, the members need to work together, listen to each other, counsel together, decide together, and then follow through together.

As in the human body, you can’t say that you have no need of even one little member. You need every fingernail, every cell, as well as every organ and every limb. (See 1 Corinthians 12:14–17) Everybody is important, from the most insignificant to the seemingly most important. Everyone has their job, everyone is needed, and all must work together in harmony and cooperation.

Talk together, discuss together, counsel together, agree together, decide together, do together, care together, grow together, work together, and enjoy the fruits of your labors together. Then you’ll be a wise leader and a good executive.

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The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power but love, not force but example, not coercion but reasoned persuasion. Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.
—John Stott (1921–2011)

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Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve.
—Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985)

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

10 Tips for Excelling at Work

By Tina Kapp

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We build our work with our attitudes and actions day by day. Here are some thoughts to keep in mind if we want to excel in our jobs.

 
1. Volunteer. In the old folk tale of the Little Red Hen, she wanted to bake a loaf of bread, so she asked the animals in the barnyard to help her gather the wheat, but everyone was suddenly too busy and unavailable, so she did it herself. Later, she asked who would help her grind the wheat into flour, but everyone was too busy. Then she asked who could help her sift the flour and mix the ingredients; again, everyone was too busy to help. After requesting help several times, she ended up doing all the work herself. As a result, though, the animals missed out on the reward of enjoying the loaf.

Let’s not be like them. If your boss and coworkers know you can be counted on to take the extra step when the need arises, they’ll come to depend on your reliability and willingness to get things done. Showing initiative leads to increased trust, rewards, and responsibility.

In the Bible, David volunteered to fight the giant Goliath, which saved the day and gained him favor with King Saul. Another example is Isaiah volunteering to be a messenger for God by saying, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

 
2. Get the details right. Attention to detail says a lot about a person. If you can’t be bothered to spell a word (or a name) correctly or get your facts right, those around you will assume you can’t be bothered to get other things right either. Jesus said: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much.” (Luke 16:10 NIV)

If you go into a bathroom in a restaurant and it’s dirty, it might make you worry that the kitchen is also dirty, and you may decide to eat somewhere else instead. Even if it just happened to be a sloppy job that one day, it can still have a bad effect on the business’ reputation.

Regardless of the task, personal attention to detail shows that people can rely on you to get things done correctly and that you’ll go the extra mile to do it right.

The book of Proverbs says, “Lazy people are soon poor; hard workers get rich.” (Proverbs 10:4 NLT)

 
3. Avoid gossip. Paul warned the Ephesians, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29 NIV)

Gossiping may seem innocent, but words have a way of coming back to bite you. If you wouldn’t say something to someone’s face, it’s probably not a good idea to say it to others. The classical Greek philosopher Socrates, credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, reportedly said: “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, and small minds discuss people.”

 
4. Be reliable. Your boss is counting on you, and unless you’re actually sick, playing hooky to skip out on work will let him and your coworkers down. You might get away with pretending to be sick to get off work, but people will come to see you as someone who often drops the ball, leaving them to pick up the pieces.

Paul said to the Thessalonians, “We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge … to settle down and earn the food they eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:11–12 NIV) According to one reference, the original Greek translation of “disruptive” meant playing hooky.

 
5. Never do nothing. Rather than wasting time when you’ve finished your task, take a look around at what else needs to be done.

Jeroboam in the Bible was a shining example of this. When King Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph. (See 1 Kings 11:28) You can bet that didn’t come from him sitting around and slacking off every chance he got.

 
6. Be nice. This is a huge topic, and some aspects may seem obvious, but it covers everything from having good manners to being polite to the janitor or that slightly annoying coworker. The way you treat others will affect the way people see you. People who are polite and easy to work with end up with more references, contacts, and friends.

It also majorly impacts your ability to do business. Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People explains how kindness and showing genuine interest in others have often been the keys to business success. His book has a great collection of stories about successful people who were interested in others and used kindness in business.

One of my favorites is about a businessman named Mr. Duvernoy, who wanted to be the bread supplier to a certain New York hotel. He tried to get an appointment to present his products to the manager every week for years, but was unsuccessful even with that.

After learning about positive human relations, he decided to put them to the test. He found out that the manager was part of the Hotel Greeters of America Society and was so passionate about it that he attended every convention and event and even ran for its presidency.

The next time Mr. Duvernoy met the hotel manager, he brought up this society. The manager, who obviously loved the subject, spent half an hour talking about it. “In the meantime, I had said nothing about bread,” recalled Mr. Duvernoy. “But a few days later, the steward of his hotel phoned me to come over with samples and prices. ‘I don’t know what you did to the old boy,’ the steward greeted me, ‘but he sure is sold on you!’”

Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

 
7. Ask for feedback. In an article I read, there was a suggestion to check in with your boss or team every so often about how you’re doing and ask how you could improve. This shows you’re focused and take your work seriously.

If the apostle Paul were writing today, he would probably say something like, “Employees, obey your earthly bosses with respect and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5, paraphrased) The way you conduct yourself, your interactions with coworkers and your boss, says a lot about you as a person and affects your example as a Christian.

King David of the Bible was always praying about ways he could improve. In Psalms he says, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me.” (Psalm 25:4–5 NIV)

Moses also checked in with God regularly: “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” (Exodus 33:13 NIV)

 
8. Don’t rush into office romances. This is not a hard-and-fast rule—although different companies have their own policies, so it’s important to know and follow them—but experts often recommend keeping romance away from the workplace.

Relationships and friendships are wonderful, but always keep your goals in mind, and don’t let other things distract you.

 
9. Look professional. How you look and dress reflects either well or poorly on the company you work for or the service you perform. Some jobs have a dress code; if yours doesn’t, take cues from respected individuals at your work. Imagine getting stuck in the elevator with the company’s CEO, and dress for that possibility every single day. This is even more important when at a job interview, as first impressions are so important.

While the Bible is clear that God is more interested in what is in our hearts, it also cautions us that “people judge others by what they look like.” (1 Samuel 16:7 CEV) Make sure your appearance serves you well and shows respect for the position you have or want.

 
10. Show appreciation. If someone does their job well, say so. If someone helps you out, thank them. Saying nice things about others behind their back is also a wonderful thing to do, because if it gets back to the person, it often means more than the nice things you could say directly to them.

With the fast pace of today’s world, it’s easy to forget the value of a few simple words. Just taking a few minutes to acknowledge those you work with and their contributions will go a long way in making them feel appreciated.

Dale Carnegie wrote: “You don’t have to wait … before you use this philosophy of appreciation. You can work magic with it almost every day.”

Making your colleagues feel appreciated and important is the key to success and everyone working together happily. It may seem to be a small thing, but it gets big results.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Activated

Yolo or Carpe Diem?

By Tina Kapp

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Most people have heard the acronym “YOLO” thrown around for the past couple of years. It stands for “you only live once.” Pop stars and celebrities have made it a catchphrase to promote doing crazy things or taking risks because, hey, “You only live once!”

It’s an attractive thought. Why worry about the future? Why subscribe to having to answer for decisions we make when we can pretend it all doesn’t matter anyway? Why can’t we only be concerned about what makes us happy right now?

Well, when you get older, you realize that life doesn’t work like that, and you start having to pay for the decisions you made earlier. In most cases, those who live life with that motto begin wishing they had thought about the long term a bit sooner.

I remember struggling with my weight as a teenager. I hated feeling overweight. I didn’t get chosen for local school dance teams and often felt insecure. I thought about it constantly. Did that stop me from overeating unhealthy food when I had the opportunity? Not a chance! At that moment, all I cared about was that it tasted good and I wanted it! When confronted with some delectable delight, all thoughts of being healthy magically disappeared … until later when I’d get depressed that I couldn’t lose weight. That was me living strictly in the moment with no thought for the long term.

Now that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t enjoy life. God doesn’t want us to be miserable. “Happy are the people who are in such a state;” the Bible says, “Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!” (Psalm 144:15) “Do not sorrow,” it tells us, “for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10) Jesus wants us to experience God’s love and the many blessings that He gives us every day.

Since we only have one life, what do we want to do with it? What do we want to be remembered for? What would be a life that we can look back at and be proud of? The well-known saying “Carpe Diem” (Latin for “seize the day”) has a positive feel to it. It’s the same rationale that you only live once, but rather than taking it as a reason to do crazy things, ignore consequences, and live for the now, it means to go further, to do more, and to not waste time.

Life is made up of lots of days. Some will be fun and chilled, while others will be hard work. Think of Olympic gold medalists. The day that they compete and win will go down in history, and I bet it will remain as one of the best days of their lives. But to get there, it takes years of training, hard work, and focus. Think of your favorite musician playing to a massive audience. Again, they only got there through countless days of faithful practice, rehearsals, and playing for anyone who would listen until they got their big break.

All our favorite Bible characters experienced something similar. Think of Noah building the ark or Joseph saving Egypt from starvation. The good days didn’t come from them sitting around only doing what they felt like and enjoying the YOLO days. It took hard work and planning so that when the time came, their single life would save many more and leave its mark on the world.

The prodigal son believed you only live once. (See Luke 15:11–32) He didn’t want to wait for his inheritance. He wanted to party and have fun now. He pestered his father for his share of his inheritance and then immediately “set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living.” (Luke 15:13 NIV) I’m sure he had a fabulous time … until the money ran out, and with it, all his so-called “friends.” They left him in rags, begging for food, when he had nothing left.

Ecclesiastes warns us, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them.’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1)

All of the choices we make have consequences—from little things like eating vegetables, to studying and working hard toward a goal, to living a godly life. Understanding that now can help you make wise decisions and have something wonderful to show for it at the end of your days.

Don’t let life pass you by. Make the most of it so that you can look back and be encouraged by what you’ve accomplished.

 
 

Copyright © Activated Magazine. All rights reserved.

Secrets of a Happy Marriage!

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Marriage is the most satisfying, most strengthening and most lasting human relationship on this Earth, an illustration of God’s relationship with Man! Marriage ought to be more than just sex or friendship and certainly more than a mere business partnership!–It is intended by the Lord to be the most intimate, humbling, loving and self-sacrificial relationship between human beings!

Marriages, it has been said, are made in Heaven, but the maintenance is done down here! More important than how much two people love each other or how happy they are BEFORE their wedding, is how well they talk and share and work out their problems AFTERWARDS!–And how much time and effort and self-sacrifice they’re prepared to put into their marriage to make it work!

Here we’d like to share some tried and proven tips, some “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of marriage that we pray will help you and your mate avoid some of the common pitfalls, so you can grow together in love!

THE “DO’S” (of a Happy Marriage)!

  • INVEST TIME, attention and love in making your relationship work, or you may lose it!
  • Treat all disasters as incidents, and none of the incidents as disasters!
  • When you feel there’s something bothering your mate, lovingly probe and get them to talk it over with you.
  • Share your innermost feelings with each other, but temper your honesty with wisdom to avoid hurting each other’s feelings!
  • Be sensitive to each other’s needs and try to fulfill them if you can!
  • Say “I love you!” 100 times a day!
  • Spend time with your children TOGETHER!
  • Pray and discuss together about your children’s needs, and be united about their discipline!
  • Kiss each other hello and goodbye!
  • Always say “please” and “thank you” to each other!
  • Make yourself beautiful/handsome for each other!
  • Wear perfume/cologne or aftershave all the time!
  • Husbands, compliment her! Tell her she’s beautiful and she’ll BE beautiful! Tell her she’s wonderful and she’ll BE wonderful!
  • Husbands, don’t forget to say, “I love you!” Words can sometimes do more for a woman than anything else!–Especially when they’re spoken with love, tenderness, meaning and sincerity!
  • Start the day with a kiss and cuddle!
  • Make love regularly! If you need sex, ASK for it!–Sexily! Wives, dress up in something sexy for him before lovemaking! Dress excitingly for exciting times!
  • Be expressive in lovemaking! Set the scene with soft lights and music!
  • Massaging is marvellous, a touch of Heaven from your Heavenly touch!
  • Husbands, if you want her to be dynamite in bed, you’ll have to light the fuse!
  • Wives, dress in what HE likes, not only what YOU like!
  • Be affectionate in public and private!
  • Compliment each other. Constantly tell your mate how thankful you are for them and how wonderful they are!
  • Call each other sweet names!
  • Write each other little love notes of appreciation!
  • Surprise each other with little love gifts and treats, like flowers etc.!
  • Do little favours for each other to make one another’s life and work easier!
  • Husbands, tidy up after yourself and try to make her job easier!
  • Husbands, volunteer for odd jobs, don’t expect her to do everything in the house all the time!
  • Tell him/her that they’re beautiful/handsome often and what things you especially like about them!
  • Make a point to say nice things about your mate to others in front of your mate, and also when he or she is not present!
  • Listen to each other’s suggestions and advice!
  • Remind yourself of all the GOOD qualities of your mate and try not to think about the bad ones. Pray to see the good in each other!
  • Have faith that the Lord can change your mate’s faults and weaknesses. Commit them to the Lord!
  • Remember to avoid doing things you know annoy each other!
  • If you want to have the last word, apologise!
  • Make up quickly after arguments. Pray together for the victory, especially in the middle of a disagreement.
  • Say “I love you, you rascal”, when you’ve had a fight or argument. It helps break the ice!
  • During times of marriage problems, make it a point to be alone with just each other–no problems to tend to, no work and no kids. Have a special meal together at home, just the two of you!
  • Go out together sometimes for the extra romance and the time alone with each other and the Lord!
  • Show interest in one another’s projects and work!
  • Show love and affection even if you don’t feel like it!
  • Learn to be aware of his/her “signals”–insinuations, hints, needs!
  • ASK what your mate likes and dislikes or what bothers him/her!
  • Be sure to respond to and return affection!
  • Pray and read the Bible together.
  • Put God’s will and His work first!

THE “DON’TS” (of a Happy Marriage)!

  • Don’t judge your wife too harshly for her weaknesses! If she didn’t have them, chances are she wouldn’t have married YOU!
  • Don’t think about all the things your partner is or isn’t doing for the relationship. Focus on what YOU can do to make it better!
  • Don’t dwell on the past or any past failures or mistakes or offenses by your partner or in your relationship.
  • Never say, “You ALWAYS do this or that wrong” or “You’ll NEVER change!”
  • Don’t hold grudges!
  • Don’t hide your feelings or trials from each other.–For example, if you are offended or have misunderstood something the other one has said or done. Bringing things out in the open will help resolve them!
  • Don’t nag–watch your tone of voice. Write “reminder” love notes instead.
  • Don’t raise your voice unnecessarily!
  • Don’t answer back hastily!–Think and pray before you answer!
  • Don’t take out your frustrations on each other!
  • Don’t try to make your mate “conform” to your “image” of what he or she should be!
  • Don’t be persistent in asking questions when the other is busy or not in a good mood!
  • Don’t talk about problems right before going to sleep!
  • Don’t stop talking to each other!
  • Don’t take each other for granted!
  • Don’t let lovemaking become routine!
  • Don’t embarrass your mate in public about private matters!
  • Don’t correct each other in front of others!
  • Don’t make fun of or belittle each other, especially in front of others!
  • Don’t be too proud to listen to each other’s suggestions and try them, even if they’re not an expert in that subject.
  • Never argue, dispute or complain in the presence of children–the damaging effects can last forever!
  • Don’t show disunity or argue in front of others.
  • Don’t interrupt each other when talking!
  • Don’t be too proud to say, “I’m sorry!”
  • “Don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath”–Ephesians 4:26. Always resolve your differences as soon as they occur, and especially before sleeping!
  • Don’t go to sleep without kissing good night, praying together, and saying, “I love you!”
  • FINALLY…Don’t forget that without good communication with JESUS, there cannot be much good communication between YOU! The most important thing in a marriage is for both of you to have faith in Jesus! With faith, everything is possible!–Including a HAPPY MARRIAGE! God bless you!

 
 

Treasures. Copyright (c) The Family International