Duck Your Attitude is Showing: Attitude Check

attitude

The Attitude Behind this Post

Seeking to Grow. That’s the attitude my Hearts desire is to challenge myself and others to a right relationship with God. So Many times I have watched both my attitude and the attitudes of others stand in the way of effective ministry. I watch as kids witness poor attitudes of the “righteous” and they walk away. Somewhere along the line have lost focus of what our purpose is is and taken our eyes off the one who gave us HOPE beyond all hope and turned our eyes to ourselves.

Today I had a discussion with 6 kids in Junior Church about having an attitude of Gratitude. The catalyst BIBLE MAN- a kids program that really focuses on the Armor of God and this particular episode talked about when we keep Jesus in view our faith doesn’t falter. We keep things in check right where they should be. THEN after the faith they talked about gratitude. Those two episodes back to back got me thinking. When we actively practice our faith (not just going through the motions and putting on a front of false righteousness) we then find ourselves choosing to be grateful and our attitudes are radically different……

So here has been my thought process in working through this study of sorts over the last month or so:

A Little History

Attitudes- if you listen to parents at all MOST of them will admit that at some point in their child’s life they struggle with having an attitude. Toddlers have attitudes. School aged kids have attitudes, middle schoolers have attitudes, High schoolers have attitudes….AND HERES’s A NEWSFLASH FOR YOU: ADULTS HAVE ATTITUDES.

When I was in middles school my school was divided into two sections and it was divided by the cafeteria, a couple of classrooms and the Library. On one side was the 5th and 6th graders and on the other side was the 7th and 8th graders and on the rare occasion paths would cross for the two aged groups and it was not uncommon to hear the older group say to the unsuspecting younger kid “Duck, Your epidermis is showing”. Now in that setting the poor unsuspecting 5th grader does not know what an epidermis is (It’s the outer layer of shin- visible on your face arms and hands. ). But the poor little kiddo thinks something much worse and immediately covers their pants thinking their zipper is down! It’s mean es yes I know But in the same respect looking back it was kinda hilarious. I didn’t do it to the kids at school BUT you can sure bet I took it home and tested it on my little brothers. (Pssst….IT WORKED)

An Epidermis and an Attitude are similar

Outside of being a mummy- everyone can see some portion of your epidermis. It IS showing. When we left middle school and went to high school no one cared about playing that trick anymore. it was childish.. Attitude on the other hand we think is hidden we put on a good front. We whitewash our exterior and put on a phony mask. we act cheerful and say hi and maybe even get into people’s faces and MAKE them say hi and then when we THINK everyone one is gone we let loose our complaints.

-OR- There are those who don’t care and are downright obnoxious about their bad attitude because they are entitled to their bad attitude. They Might say “Oh I was just joking or kidding around” but the truth of the matter is :

Matthew 15:18-20 New International Version (NIV)

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. 20 These are what defile a person; but eating with unwashed hands does not defile them.”

Jesus was talking to the Pharisees. The Pharisees were upset because they were al worried about outward appearances and what is being done and how things are being done. They would spout off and didn’t’t really care about the purpose or reason behind something. They were revealing what was really in their hearts.

But if the Pharisees had remembered and taken to heart their teaching they would have remembered “

Proverbs 15:28 New International Version (NIV)

28 The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
    but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

But I can hear it now you are saying “but Mary me and my buds aren’t asking for something evil.” My response would be:

Colossians 3:8 NIV


But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.

So then what should our response be? Well In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, NIV: we are COMMANDED to :

“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Did you catch that?????? If you are NOT thankful in all things YOU ARE OUT OF THE WILL OF GOD! WHOA! This is an AHA! moment for me!. But we are also COMMANDED to have the Fruit of the Spirit which is found in :

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

And the Bible ALSO says :

Matthew 7:16-20 New International Version (NIV)

16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

So are you full of wrath, anger, malice, bitterness? OR are you full of gentleness, kindness and patience? Earlier this evening as I was looking over some verses a thought popped into my head and I decided to share it to Facebook. I have been in more than one situation where someone walks into a room with the explicit purpose to set people strait or to raise a stink, or cause problems. The problem is it rarely if ever does anything positive when that approach is taken . Here’s what I wrote:

Studying out passages for my blog post I’m writing and here is my question…..As believers we teach our kids and believe That God is everywhere so where do we get off walking into a room proclaiming we are going to create problems? Do we really think the King of Kings is impressed with our attitudes and behavior? (That is downright hypocrisy- to teach one ay and live another) So not only did we just lose our testimony before those in the room but we also disappointed the Savior of our souls. Our words and attitudes hold far greater weight than getting across our own opinions-rights-desires- False joy/ happiness is spotted a million mile away when there are words of disunity to follow. 

Let’s be honest when we are in these moments of “making people see I’m right and choosing to stir up trouble” we believe we have righteous intentions but here is what Proverbs 1528 NIV has to say about the righteous person and their words:

The heart of the righteous weighs its answers,
    but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.

Yep I already shared that verse above but it really does need to be repeated and committed to memory!

I know I know but you say “Mary but I…..” We as believers REALLY need to give up our personal pronouns. We…..I…….You……Us……and we REALLY need to stat our arguments with “BUT GOD…….” and if you cannot finish that statement with a biblical principle or truth from God’s word – and not some phone baloney garbage that fits what you want it to say- than we need to recognize that I and we as it is. Selfish ambition. Luke 14:33 NIV says it best

In the same way, those of you who do NOT give up EVERYTHING you have CANNOT be my disciples.

OUCH! We cannot let our “stuff” get in the way of being disciples of Christ. This means attachments in physical, relational, emotional and mental. This means our selfish ambitions. YOUR RIGHTS. OUR STINKY ATTITUDES. This is hard to swallow but this is the principle of dying to self.

When we hold onto the anger, the wrath, and the malice we are letting evil into our lives. It changes our focus we lose sight of the purpose God has called us to and it distracts us from being useful in His work.

And yet we think ourselves righteous and religious and we think it’s our duty to spout off for whatever reason.

James 1:26 New International Version (NIV)

26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.

Now over the last few months I have been camped in the end of the New Testament and the idea of being deceived is a recurrent one. We can be deceived by smooth talkers. Ones who “make a good point” and we allow ourselves to lose sight of the greater purpose. To Love God and serve others. We get wrapped up in a feeling of feeling bitter. it’s kinda like the flu. one person get’s it and it spreads like wildfire if people aren’t awake and paying attention to what’s REALLY going on around them

I think one of the most frustrating events happened when I was 17 wish. It was in a church business meeting and our church had just completed a church building project. And a family in our church were foster parents and they had a daughter who was wheel chair ridden. Each week I watched her foster dad and other men from our church carry that girl up and down the stairs to where her Sunday school class was. It was dangerous to say the least. our church began investigating safer options that would accommodate this family. As a teen with a disability( though this did not directly apply to me ) Was proud that my church wanted to meet this need and couldn’t wait to vote to help this family. It came time for the meeting ad all of the findings were shared and the church had decided to go with an external elevator to be added to the outside of the new addition and it was almost time for the vote when someone from the back piped up in a very angry voice. This person saw no need for an elevator and it was a waste of money……the kicker in all of this was that this person too was in a wheelchair Her husband had carried her up the front steps of the church for years until a ramp was built which they happily used. She was the only one who voted no for the elevator. To this day this account breaks my heart. It left a lasting impression on my heart for what bitterness and anger will do to a person.

It was THAT dissension and disunity that affected me as a teen freshly given what I thought was a life sentence. I COULD have caught her bitterness……

As I have processed all of this “attitude” thoughts this week I have bounced from one thing to the next. I have had to re-evaluate my own hurt feelings God’s word is convicting. It’s supposed to be. Here are just dome of my thoughts I shared on social media as I hashed this out in my head….

Thoughts on Attitudes

We can stand and stomp our foot , yelling and demanding our own way like a two year old seeking our own preferences. We will be held accountable! but only when standing before our God will we be found shameful because we have wasted valuable time and energy for not seeking God’s will instead of our own. When He asks you why did you make that an issue how do you think he will react to “because I wanted it! “. There are people hurting who need a Savior. There are people dying. There are defenseless being harmed and we lose sight of those that Jesus died for because “I wanted it my way”

As I re-read this tonight I got to thinking about something, when we are fighting for God’s way instead of our own we will never have a bad attitude. We won’t lose our testimony. People may talk smack about us behind our backs (By the way that’s gossip and yeah that’s evil in the sight of God too). but in the end their testimony is ruined and we are still in the fight for God’s way. God’s way= right motives. Our way= selfish ambition.

Even if a million people decided to go against a principle in God’s word- it’s still sin. I don’t care what it is. We live in a country and a culture where our desires are more important than God’s principles. On the day he was crucified Jesus stood alone. Because people chose their comfort over the one who was about to die for them. AND YET HE STILL DID! He took his comfort and nailed it to a cross. He died to self in the most literal way! We as believers forget that we WILL have to answer to God too. Are we prepared to defend our choices and attitudes against Jesus’ sacrifice. Because that SHOULD be our driving force!

There is a lot that goes behind this statement. Most of which is my experience as a an extended short term missionary in a place that hates Christians. I have little to no tolerance for crazy church behavior and neither would you if you met people who went against their government to worship God We waste our time on foolish things.

  • I would rather know my life was spent: fighting for unborn babies, teaching moms to care for their children so they don’t lose them to CPS, care for teenagers who don’t know what real love is ,
  • I want to listen too the mom who is losing a loved one.
  • I want to hug the one who realizes her child is in danger and she can’t do a blessed thing about it,
  • I want to encourage those who are seeking to follow God with everything they’ve got and yet their world sees to be falling apart,
  • I want to care for kids who are not understood and are cast aside.
  • I want to bring joy and peace and growth into peoples lives.
  • I want to minister to the homeless man in the park after 9/11 and gets saved,
  • I want to hold someones hand who fears that their faith will lead to their imprisonment.
  • I want to hug that little red-headed boy who just saved his baby sister from dying as his drunk father sleeps in the chair next to him.
  • I want to see people come to Jesus and wipe away tears of pain as I share what HOPE really looks like.
  • I WANT to be doing God’s work NOT Satans destructive plans.

I don’t want to be a apart of silly useless arguments about elevators, carpet colors or whatever other stupid useless arguments churches find themselves in. What’s happening is SATAN is using those things to distract us from what’s most important PEOPLE. People who are hurt, broken and alone. (This isn’t about being a pastor’s wife- a lot of these things happened before I ever thought I would be a pastors wife and if tomorrow I was no longer a pastors wife I would still want to do these things).

You CHOOSE

I know we have spent a bunch of time talking about the negative Side of attitude. BUT there is hope and it is in YOU! You have the power to change a situation. We all have a choice to have a bad attitude, an attitude of indifference, an attitude that fosters a bad attitude or an attitude that points people back to TRUTH (in love of course because if it isn’t than it’s just a bad attitude wrapped in Scripture).

So I told those 6 kiddos in Junior church that they had the power to choose a Good attitude. and they were dumfounded. You wanna know why? I believe it is because it hasn’t’t been modeled for them. AND this is NOT necessarily a parenting issue. Remember back to all of my POWER of YOUR INFLUENCE blog posts. If you live and breathe you are an influence The choice is whether it’s a positive or negative one. And let’s be honest the very first influence you are with any person but especially kids is your speech and how you talk to them. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to answer “why doesn’t so and so like me?” and it was based all around what was said and how it was said.

We need to start making our choice to have a positive attitude. We have that power to change. and if we all actively choose to have attitudes based in the Fruit of the Spirit -We will change. And when we change our families will change. And when our families change, Our churches will change. And when your churches change our communities will change. And when communities change our country starts to look different. And THAT my friends is how one person can change the world!

We can have all the Bible Studies and prayer meetings and church services in the world but if gossip and bitterness pride and discord are allowed to enter, then they will always be fruitless.

In Closing

I want to leave you with perspective from Matthew 12:33-37.

33 “Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. 35 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We take our words and our attitudes lightly. I challenge all of us to move past what we want in our attitudes and change them to a godly perspective.

So won’t you join me this week as I seek to let my attitude be changed !

Blessings, Mary

A Year of Words: When one Just Won’t Do

words

Words: An everyday thing

Words fill our days. As a new parent we can’t wait t hear our babies first words. And we fill with joy as we hear Mama and Dada for the first time. And when we have a child who doesn’t say words our hearts fall and fear seeps in. But over time we take words for granted. We sling them around. We say hurtful words, we use words to make promises we never intend to keep, we use words to build up and encourage.

But then there are other words. Words that seem to jump off the pages of books and Scripture and when those words and themes show up time and again we need to pay attention.

When Just one Word Won’t Do

Usually every year I pick a word to be the theme for the year- and this year is no different, I have “a Word” and we will get to that in another post HOWEVER as January rolled around and I was in a constant dialog with my “crew”. Group of Ladies who have become a part of my life like I have never had before). I began to realize that not just one word was going to define my year. .

Focus

As I texted in our group text I kept finding myself asking for prayer for Focus. As I prayed I asked God that I wouldn’t be distracted. I’ll be honest that is one of two reasons I have not blogged over the last few years like I once did.

But at this point distraction was creeping in in every area of my life.

Fearless

The second word that has been an ongoing theme through the beginning part of this year has been fear. I came to terms with the fact that I was letting fear rule areas of my life and one of them was blogging. I thought I had dealt with the fear centered around my blogging a few years ago. I wrote a specific post…..And then I just stopped writing the stuff God was laying on my heart. I believe the fear was probably two-fold and over the coming months of this year I will hash that out more but as of right now I can’t. (NOT OUT OF FEARS SAKE I can assure you).

Balance

The third word that I have been repeating in my head has been BALANCE. I have realized my need for Balance. I spent 4 weeks cleaning and re-organizing every cabinet in my kitchen. (I know that seems like a LONG time) I have a family and ministry responsibilities and other chores that need my attention. I am down to one cabinet and then wiping them all down! In the midst of that the dishwasher Kicked the bucket. As I tried to balance everything I quickly realized that I had fallen short on a bunch of other things.

And I am sure there will be others but for now these are the recurrent words. If there are more I am considering sharing more as they come along.

Themes in Our lives.

Every once in awhile themes pop up in our lives and I believe they are not just coincidence or by chance . I really truly believe that the happen because God is trying to teach us something. Or He wants us to pay attention to something.

As I have been doing my devotions through the General Epistles (James, First and Second Peter and first, second and Third John I saw there was a theme that stuck out to me was that of ATTITUDES and POSTURE of a believer…..HMMMM yep I wrote this blog post all about attitudes!.

Words Play apart in our everyday lives

Do you ever feel like you are sounding like a broken record.?Saying the same things over and over again. It happens all the time. In my prayer life, in my parenting, in my marriage. In my ministry. If you find this happening in Your life and you feel like a broken record take a moment and really ponder the significance of these repeating emotions, concepts….WORDS and really ask God, “What do you want me to learn from this?”

You will be absolutely amazed just how much you will grow when you are willing to have a teachable spirit (Blog post coming soon).

For now let’s chant about what themeless you have been seeing pop up in your lives and how God is working through them to make you more like Him!

Blessings, Mary

Happy Homemaker Monday- Hello 2020

2020

Hey There everyone. It’s been a crazy end of the year (2019) and a crazy beginning of the new Year…so here is my first Happy Homemaker of of 2020!

♥♥The Weather♥♥

This week is a little back and forth. We have a night that’s as low as 9 degrees and some of the days being in the lows to mid 40’ws. Now I can handle the 40’s but single digits are NOT my favorite things!

♥♥How I am feeling this morning♥♥

Well considering its night….LOL I’m almost ready for bed ( I do my blogging at night time because otherwise I get too distracted.

♥♥On my mind♥♥

I have a big to-do list this week. (when don’t I). But the kitchen is mostly back together after re-working the whole thing.

I also have a lot of friends and family going through hard things on my mind.

and Blog posts….lots of blog posts!!

♥♥On the breakfast plate♥♥

yogurt and granola

♥♥On my reading pile♥♥

  • Lists to Live By
  • Bare Bones Bible Handbook
  • Surprised by Joy
  • Choose Joy

♥♥On my tv♥♥

Facts of Life

♥♥On the menu this week♥♥

  • Monday- Balsamic Chicken and baked potatoes
  • Tuesday- Beef Stronganoff
  • Wednesday- Pizza Soup
  • Thursday- Shepherds Pie
  • Friday- Philly cheesesteak Casserole
  • Saturday- Leftovers
  • Sunday- Taco Salad

♥♥From the camera♥♥

What don’t all doggies build with Legos?

♥♥Looking around the house♥♥

The downstairs needs some general tidying/ weekly chores down and the upstairs has some more major things that needs accomplishing

♥♥Chore I’m not looking forward to today, or this week♥♥

My sewing cabinet threw up at the top of our stairs. Ive been avoiding it but it NEEDS to be done this week!

♥♥To relax this week, I will♥♥

Paint and write

♥♥On my prayer list♥♥

OH MAN. this one is Hard. I kinda already mentioned this but we have a lot of friends and family who are going through som really hard stuff.

♥♥Devotional/Bible Verse♥♥

I have been currently reading and studying my way through 1 John.

Yesterdays and todays verses were v 12-17 of Chapter 2.

Reasons for Writing

12 I am writing to you, dear children,
    because your sins have been forgiven on account of his name.
13 I am writing to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I am writing to you, young men,
    because you have overcome the evil one.

14 I write to you, dear children,
    because you know the Father.
I write to you, fathers,
    because you know him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
    because you are strong,
    and the word of God lives in you,
    and you have overcome the evil one.

On Not Loving the World

15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

For more Happy Homemaker Monday Posts Check out Diary of a stay At Home Mom


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2020 Reading Goals

Hey Guys

It’s been awhile since I have posted about Goals of any kind and I can tell you right now THAT is about to change!

So I have tweaked how I have done my reading Goals for the last two years. Matter fact last year I set ZERO reading Goals…..and Heres Why…

Reading Challenge

A friend Challenged me to take part in THIS reading Challenge

It’s Called the 2020 Christian reading Challenge and the awesome thing about this is it gives you a theme and then you get to pick the books.

Last year I read about 27 books…..and that is awesome for me. This year I set my Goodreads goal at 35- I printed of the checklist and have already knocked off almost a third of the goal. But I wanted to tweak how I handled it this year so I pick 11 books THAT I ABSOLUTELY want to finish this year…All else can be on a whim.

And honestly as I have reworked my entire kitchen I have listened to so many books. I finally finished the Wizard of Oz series . Two Peter Pan books ( the third is not on kindle) All while washing the dishes and cleaning out cabinets..

Top 11 books to read in 2020 (in no particular order

A few words about these books I have not currently started this books with the exception of one and it’s the first but I am going to go back and start from the beginning.

reading
This book has been o the to read pile FOREVER! I am preparing it for Bible study and will dive in the beginning of March
reading
Because sometimes Ya just need a laugh (and it’s a category on this years reading list
reading
This is the second book on Joy well it’s actually about Philippians but the theme for Philippians is JOY
reading
Oh another Joy book- can you guess what I’m studying AGAIN this year?
This is my chosen book on Identity this year
reading
Because this is an ongoing theme in my personal life and I am still working on my own material Influence
reading
Again because it’s about JOY!
reading
This has been on the reading bucket list since Bible College and I’m FINALLY getting around to it.
reading
Because I feel like my heart is in need of this book currently.
reading
I’m not running on empty right now BUT I want to be prepared the next time!
reading
This book is about Joy but it id also to challenge myself. This is not my typical reading style so this is to spur on GROWTH!

Don’t worry these aren’t my only books either. I currently have 8 in my currently reading on Goodreads and my bookshelves are just chock full of titles longing to be pulled off the shelf and my Kindle is full loaded as well.

Are you interested in going me on my challenge?

Let me know if you decide to join in the fun.

Blessings

Mary

Happy New…..MONTH??

Happy

Why hello there I have not been around since OCTOBER???? My goodness Life has a way of taking over, doesn’tt it? Well that is what happened. Life took over. And then it spiraled out of control and that my friends is how we have landed here. I do have some posts that will go o their appropriate dates. And those will slowly start to pop up here and there.

I wish I could say this next year was going to get easier and that there would be more time for blogging but I want to be honest and real- THAT”S JUST NOT THE SEASON I’M IN RIGHT NOW!. But I think that me being realistic with myself has brought a new sense of freedom.

What Happened Between October and now?

WellThe biggest thing fir me was I wrote my first play for our church. I have directed the play for years but this year I really felt like God wanted me to write it. So I started in May Yep In a better of two weeks I had two thirds of it written and then summer happened. I killed my ankle, I got pneumonia and in the midst of all of that I lost the notebook I had handwritten the play in (Yeah that’s just how I roll). Well I will be honest that took quite the mental toll and I wrestled with God over it well into October. But I did send screen shots for about 1/2 of the play to my stage manager. But this whole process takes a while. By Thanksgiving it was finished so then we bumped the play performance back two weeks went into an insane play practice schedule and by the Grace of God it was amazing. Christmas was a blessing but not nearly as peaceful as usual. Notes for the future !

Attack of the Stomach bug

Well the morning after the play both Hubby and J woke up puking their guts out, and within a few hours almost the entire group of kids I had in the plat were doing the same. For whatever reason it had attacked almost everyone EXCEPT the adults (minus Hubby). I didn’t get it as bad but New Years was spend eating crackers, sucking down ginger ale and praying to God that it would all be over.

I never got the full thing hubby did my stomach hurt. Before we knew it break was over and school was back in session. In the middle of all this hubby got an abscessed lymph node (weird right? never even heard of that before). well that is still a thing but it’s not bad.

Two weeks ago I woke up feeling fine and by mid-afternoon I had a decent fever. 3 of us got it. three of us didn’t. Even now J is home sick with a fever. talking g with the school nurses there are multiple things flying around all the schools. things like Strep, flu, stomach bugs and a few other virus-y things.

Looking ahead.

I wish I could sit here and tell you what this next year will look like. BUT I can’t. I know that March 1st marks our 11 year anniversary being here is our church as their pastor. I don’t foresee any ministry changes within our church but there are somethings outside of church that will probably be changing.

I will be honest God and I had a lot of serious talking sessions with God about the future of this blog…and then something happened!!! Content started pouring into my head and heart and I have made some significant changes in my morning routine.

Happy to say For now the blog is here to stay

So as content continues to come and it is coming rapidly, I going to start writing again. As God and I have wrestled this out, this is an act of obedience on my part. I will explain later in another blog post entitled “a Year of Words”. But that is for another day and another time.

Happy Vantine’s Day!

So since there was no Marry Christmas and no Happy New Year I’m gonna start out 2020 by saying Happy Valentines Day (Psssst That’s this Friday!)

I look forward to chatting it up with you guys this year!

I pray that we can grow closer to God and each other this year!

Blessings,

Mary