"Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (NIV)
I am a magnet for strange.
Recently I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. After being in snowy Pennsylvania the weekend before, I needed the warmth of the Carolinas to soak deeply into my bones. Southern girls don't do snow in the spring.
Anyhow, back to the sunshine and dogs. We got a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs Champ and Chelsea aren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.
She annoys them. In every way.
I thought it would be a good investment for the dog relations in our home if I spent time with them outside to help them all feel the love. So, I sat on the ground and loved on each dog.
They enveloped me in a flurry of wet kisses, fur, and stinky dog breath. I was having a ball. And they were all getting along. Bliss.
Until...Willow came and sat on my lap. Claiming the prized location of closeness with me, I don't think she realized the signal she was sending. Champ suddenly backed up and growled. His tail stopped wagging. And he was not happy.
"Oh Champ," I reassured him, "Willow is a baby. Be nice."
"No sir! Champ, be nice. Come here. I can love on you while Willow sits in my lap," I reassured him once again, while rubbing behind his ears.
He seemed to be happy again, and licked my cheek.
But then, out of the blue, he walked beside me, looked straight at Willow, lifted his leg, and drenched me in tee-tee!
What in the world!? I couldn't believe what was happening.
After recovering from my shock and changing my clothes, I Googled it.
Some say Champ was marking his territory. "That's MY mama!"
His strong expression of "MINE" was a stark reminder to me of just how disgusting a heart bent on self can be. Champ couldn't enjoy all he was experiencing in the moment, because he was so laser focused on the one way he felt slighted.
SELFishness! ME! MINE! MINE! MINE!
Several years ago, God challenged me to recognize and refute selfishness by seeing — really seeing all that I've been given. And never looking at a blessing I was given as something just for me. I always make myself think two things...
1. Thank You, God, for entrusting this blessing to me. I know it is a gift from You.
2. How can I use this as an opportunity to bless someone else? The blessing will be more rewarding if it's not all about me.
Do these things come naturally? Not at first. Not in a 'me first,' Mine! Mine! Tee-tee on others kind of world.
But we aren't called to live according to the norm, doing what comes naturally.
We are called to rise above. Be set apart. Be different. Be pure in every way. "Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).
What blessing do you have that might need to be shared today? What blessing do I have that might need to be shared today?
Right in the midst of what we're doing today, how can we graciously and purely represent Christ as we RE-present Him everywhere we go?
Good stuff to ponder as I washed my smelly outfit that day.
Dear Lord, thank You for every good and perfect gift You have given me. Help me to put others before me and to have a heart to see them as You do. In Jesus' Name, Amen
I am a magnet for strange. Seriously. A few years ago I was outside with my three dogs soaking up the sunshine. We had gotten a new puppy named "Willow" for Christmas. Well, our other dogs, Champ and Chelsea, weren't sure what to think of precious, little three-pound, Willow.
I don't like open heights. I can't stand narrow balconies. And when driving across a bridge, you'll find me hugging the rail along the inside lane.
My daughter Hope is one of those people who knows how to dress. She'll put on a blue and white striped shirt, throw on an army jacket and black pants, finish the look with brown ankle boots and look like a fashionista.
It's usually very subtle. I'll think about something I want to do or sense God calling me to, and a feeling of uncertainty comes over me. Doubt whispers You can't do that. You're not good enough.
What makes a woman tender also reveals her vulnerabilities.
What makes a woman transparent also exposes her wounds.
What makes a woman authentic also uncovers her insecurities.
How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
by Karen Ehman
Women are wired to control. We make sure the house is clean, the meals are prepared, the beds are made, the children are dressed, and everyone gets to where they’re going on time. But sometimes our strength of being conscientious can morph into the weakness of being a slight—or all out—control freak! This humorous, yet spiritually practical book will help you learn how to control what you should, trust God with what you can’t, and more importantly, decide which one is which! Join Karen Ehman, a recovering control freak, as she enables you to: