Thursday, October 27, 2016

Ever wondered what God's will is for your life?

   The following is part of an article I wrote after hearing a sermon on thankfulness. I hope you enjoy it and are challenged by it. It's hard to live up too, so if you ever see me 'grumbling' remind me to be thankful! :) :)

I think most of us have asked this question at some time or another.

       “What is God’s will for my life?”

We all want to know God’s will for our lives, but how can we know? After all, God’s will is different for different people, right? We can’t all be pastors or writers or doctors or any other one thing. God wants us to be different.

So how can we know what God’s will is for our specific lives? Truth be told, that’s between each individual and God.

      However, in the Bible, God does tell us some things that are His will for all of us. They're not all easy,

           “In EVERY THING give thanks: for THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD in Christ Jesus concerning YOU.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:18

     For years I read this verse and thought nothing of it. After all, I could quote it when I was two-years-old, it obviously couldn’t be that important, right?

         I was wrong.

When we put this “simple” verse into practice, we not only change our own lives, but the lives of those around us.

Giving Thanks for EVERYTHING, is hard. If you don’t think so, try to be thankful for the mosquito buzzing in your ear. Try to be thankful for your car breaking down. And try to be thankful when your mom ends up in the hospital on life support.

So why would God command us to give thanks in everything when He knew it would be so hard? Well, when we give thanks for everything, we realize how much we really have. How often to we remember to thank God for that last heartbeat He allowed us to have? Or that last breath we just took?

And by giving thanks for the things that we don’t like, it changes irritations into chances to praise God. And when we praise God in EVERYTHING, it not only cheers us up, but those around us see God’s peace in us.

When we as Christians get upset and irritated, the world sees that and thinks we’re no different than them. But why would anyone with a God like ours get irritated? God knows what is best for us, and sometimes, we need the storms of life to water down our deserts of dry mirth.
So why aren’t we thankful to God for sending trials, when it’s those trials that make us more like Jesus?

No one makes you have a bad attitude. That’s a choice that we make. So why do we choose to have a bad attitude when God commands us to give thanks? When we truly give God thanks, He helps us have a better attitude.

So what about you? What situations are there in your life that you’re not thankful for? Maybe you just lost a friend. Maybe you’re persecuted because of your faith. Maybe, you’ve had to live with the most undesirable circumstances imaginable.
              Whatever the case, God still commands us to give thanks.
It’s hard. It’s tough. It’s difficult. But the peace that God gives when we follow His commands, makes doing hard things worth it.

     So roll up your sleeves and get to work. Be thankful for that annoying kid at school. Be thankful for the pain you’ve suffered. Be thankful for EVERYTHING.

After all, that is God’s will for your life.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

An Inspirational Read!

       Now I know a lot of you are just trying to finish school, stay out of trouble, and do the next thing. If that's the case, then you probably won't find this book as fascinating as I did. However, if you ever decide to try to sell something, get an audience, or just a bigger following on your blog . . . this book is a must-read.
           Platform - Get Noticed in a Noisy World by Michael Hyatt, is a book that my publisher recommended to me when I first signed my contract with Ambassador International. I wasn't really excited about it but, as soon as I started reading it, I changed my mind. I absolutely LOVED it! Not only was it full of excellent advice on marketing any product, it had a LOT of good advice for bloggers! Since I know some of you have blogs, I thought I would recommend it to you so that you can be blessed by it as well! 
          One of my favorite things about the book (besides the fact that it was full of good advice:) was the fact that it was written in an enjoyable style. I tend to be more of a fiction reader than non-fiction and, if a non-fiction book is boring, I put it down. This book, however, kept my attention with its' personal style and humor. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get an audience!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Interview with Amy Penner

      Here's a little interview I put together with nine questions to help you get to know Amy Penner from the 'Adventures of Amy' series a bit better. I've also included a few pictures of 'Amy' that didn't make it to the book covers. (Thanks KNJ!)

1. What is your life motto?

  “Well, it’s obviously changed off and on, but since I became a Christian, it’s probably been ‘Trust God.’ I mean I’ve had other mottos as well, but ‘Trust God’ is the one that I always went back to. It just seems to fit with every situation.”

2. What is your greatest regret?

“Umm . . . well . . . probably that I didn’t get to grow up with my real family.”

3. Who are your heroes?

           “That’s easy, Dad and Mom, and my brother-in-law Jim. Dad and Mom have always been there for me when I needed them, and Jim’s just . . . well, you know Jim. He’s a hero to the core.”

4. If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

             “I would stay home. I’ve been around the country and I’ve never been anywhere that I liked as much as home.”

5. What would you like to change about your life?

          “My life? Umm . . . well . . . nothing that I can think of. Well, I would like to change the fact that Uncle Keith hasn’t gotten saved.”

6. What is your most valuable possession?

                “The Bible that Dad gave me when I thought I was leaving the Penner farm for good.”

7. What is your most embarrassing moment?

          “I would definitely have to say that it was the time I met Timothy. I didn’t know he was my brother, and I accused him of being a thief. We were at an airport and I actually called security on him, and later that same day, I called Grace his wife. Yeah, it wasn’t my day. You probably haven’t heard about that though because I had Priscilla edit it out of my book. It was just too embarrassing.”

8. Do you have a strong memory that’s stuck with you since you were a small child?

          “With Uncle Keith and Aunt Fay? It would probably be the time they took me to the Grand Canyon for my ninth birthday. I remember a lot about that trip because we all seemed so happy on that trip. I remember us laughing together and having such a good time. In those days, I always gave a wish when I blew out the candles on my cake and I wished that we would always be that happy. I know now that wishing doesn’t do any good. I honestly thought that wishing would make it all stay that way. It was right after that trip that I got bone cancer, and then Mom died shortly after that and then Dad started stealing money and. . . Well, it doesn’t really matter now; I’ve learned that God has a reason for everything.”

9. What words or phrases do you tend to use all the time?

         “Well. . . I guess it’s probably the word ‘well,’ I tend to use it more than I should and . . . Well, you know what I mean.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

End of a season

     The last few months, I've been CRAZY busy with our family's corn maze. (You may have noticed that a few of my posts have been overdue) :(:(  Well, as of Monday, the maze has been closed for the season. We've had some snow this week and fall is coming to an end. I find myself looking over the last few months, and asking myself how I've changed. Am I making progress in my walk with the Lord? Am I closer to my life goals than I was last fall? What decisions have I made in the last few months that have changed me to be more like Christ?

      It's always important to take time to examine ourselves and make sure we're living in line with the Word of God. Sometimes we get so caught up with comparing ourselves to other people, that we forget to compare ourselves to what God wants us to be.

    As you go about the end of the fall season, working on school, and preparing for Christmas, take time to examine yourself in light of the Word of God. Are you where you should be? What changes can you make to help you increase in faith? Are you totally surrendered to God? A month from now, what are you going to have done for God? Are you going to be a more steadfast Christian next month than you are now?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Blond vs. Blonde. . . and this isn't a joke:)

       Have you ever been writing a description of someone and been unsure of whether to use 'blond', or 'blonde' when describing their hair color? Well, hopefully this will help you keep them straight!

       In older English, and even today in French, and European English, 'blond' always refers to a male, and 'blonde' always refers to a female. Similarly, a brunet, is a man, and a brunette, is a woman. However things have changed in our American/Canadian English writings. You may have noticed that in books now days, 'blond' is often the only word used while the word 'blonde' is rarely seen. Since our culture is trying to get away from the fact that there is only male and female, they've begun to drop the distinct difference between the two words.
      So, to be politically 'correct' you would use 'blond' at all times unless it's a noun referring to a woman, then you use 'blonde'. To be grammatically correct, you use 'blond' for a man/boy and 'blonde' for a woman/girl.

         And since this is a 'blonde/blond' post, I figured we better end it with some 'blonde' jokes.:)

         A blonde was pulled over for speeding, and the officer asked to see her license. She replied with a huff. . . "When are you guys going to get your act together? Yesterday one of you guys took my license away, and now you want me to show it to you!"

       If a blonde and a brunette both fell of a building, who would hit the ground first? The brunette. The blonde would have to stop for directions.

        How do you make a blonde laugh on Saturday? Tell her a joke on Wednesday.

      A brunette goes to her doctor and says that her body hurts wherever she touches it. "Impossible," he says. "Show me." She presses her finger on her elbow and screams in agony, then pushes her knee and screams, then her ankle, and so on; everywhere she touches makes her scream with pain. The doctor asks her if she's really a brunette. She says, "No, I dyed my hair. I'm naturally blonde." "Thought so," he says. "Your finger's broken."