Autumn has arrived and it is a breath of fresh air. It is the season of change. It is interesting how many of us enjoy autumn, but not seasons of change. We typically fight change every step of the way. I think we fight it because it is usually forced upon us. But what if we made the decision to change? What if change was a choice?
In the month of October, we will spend time discussing what it means to make healthy life choices. We may not be able to change the past, but we do have a choice about our future. We can choose to make changes that will improve our relationships, our health, and our lifestyles. We can choose to be victors rather than victims. We can choose to break generational cycles of pain and dysfunction. We can choose a life that is good and pleasing to God. And we can choose happiness.
Join us in October and take control of your future. Come learn how to make healthy life choices that will impact you and the people in your life. Come learn what Jesus meant when He said He has come to give us abundant life.
Today, my husband and I are celebrating 22 years of marriage. It has been a great run. But it has been so much work.
I knew, we knew, it would be WORK getting married and staying married. But, there are things you know and then there are things you KNOW. After 22 years, we KNOW it is work.
We have experienced for better or worse days. We have endured for richer or poor times. We have lived through sickness and health together. After 22 years, I realize you cannot determine the success of marriage by the number of good and bad days. You cannot even evaluate it by the season you are walking through. A successful marriage takes a lifetime. It’s being able to look back on 22 years and say, “it is good, very good”.
When God created the world, on the seventh day, He rested. On the seventh day, He sat back and evaluated all He had created. Then, when He was done, He determined it was good. Why do we insist something has to be great to be valuable?
God didn’t say creation was great. He said it was good. Good is solid. Good is secure. Good tells us it is exactly the way it is supposed to be; the way God says it should be. And it wasn’t until He was finished that He was able to determine its goodness.
Are you trying to determine your marriage’s “goodness” after only a few short years? Are you evaluating its “goodness” by the season you are in? Are you calling success the happiness you feel today? It may be you have prematurely evaluated your marriage. Let God have a try. Let Him evaluate it and tell you when it is good in His eyes.
Most of us are just getting started. The first ten years we were still trying to figure out how to do this thing. Then we added children to the mix…like we had any clue about that either. Maybe you need to give yourself a break. Give your spouse a break. You are both still muddling through a lifetime. It will take a lifetime to create a successful marriage. Hang in there! God will make a way!
As a pastor, I frequently attend meetings or groups that involve public speaking. Often, a person will be asked to say a few words who does not typically speak in front of large groups. Panic sets in; for me as well as the other person. I know they are nervous and I feel their pain.
Public speaking is still one of the top fears of many people. If you are like most people, you do not speak to large groups every day. You probably do not speak to large groups weekly. But you will be asked to speak publicly at some point in your life. It may be at a wedding or a funeral. It may be at a banquet or an anniversary party. It may even be on a Sunday morning when your pastor asks you to read something from the Scriptures.
So here are a few tips for those of you whose knees buckle at the thought of public speaking.
Take a deep breath and relax. Concentrate of breathing slowly. It will slow your heart rate and keep you from shaking. And it will help you think more clearly.
You have something to say and it is important. We really want to hear it. Don’t worry about the “eye rollers”. They would roll their eyes at Rev. Billy Graham.
Don’t tell them you are nervous. Everyone already knows because everyone gets nervous. Even the one who speaks regularly gets nervous. If they don’t, then they should. So just get up, tell them your name, and start speaking.
Respect the time you were given. People are good with nervousness, note cards, and even stumbling over words. But they are not good with speakers running over time. So keep it short (including prayers).
Smiling is like breathing. It helps you relax. It helps them relax. You can get away with almost anything if you smile.
You will be asked to speak at some point in your life. Don’t shy away. Accept the challenge as a gift. Someone honored you enough to ask you to share your thoughts or your heart. You matter to them and you matter to God. So give God the glory and speak up with confidence.