Wednesday, November 30, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

Hi friends! Can you believe that tomorrow is December 1st? My how time flies when you are having fun. :) As far as I am concerned, I am thrilled that the holiday season is officially underway! 

To get the season rolling, my sweet P31 sister, Karen Ehman, is hosting her 4th annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway which started this week.  Each day, one of our Proverbs 31 speakers will be highlighted, and will share something special about the holidays, in addition to offering a special giveaway item.  And today, Wednesday, is my day to guest post on Karen's blog.

So hop over to Karen's blog to check out my giveaway and learn how to put your name in the hat to win. Also, make a note to visit her blog every day for a chance to win a special Christmas prize, and to be entered for the grand prize drawing.

Tomorrow, I will kick off my holiday series "The Reel Side of Christmas", and spend the month of December focusing on various modern and old holiday movies, and the spiritual lessons we can gleam from them.  If you love Christmas movies as much as I do, you will love this series!

Be on the lookout for the first Reel post tomorrow!

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Staying Filled Up After Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a day full of "fillers". We get filled with family, filled with thanks, filled with blessing, and most of all, filled with food. Too bad that feeling of "full" doesn't last!

Throughout this sweet day where we overindulge in good food and homemade goodies, we feel full. We feel satisfied for the moment, yet we know that in just a few hours, that familiar feeling of emptiness will return, and the stomach will growl once again.

That's the thing about filling up with food - it only temporarily meets our need to feel full. Wouldn't it be great if our spirits could 'growl' like our stomachs, when the feeling of emptiness sneaks in, letting us know that we need to indulge in a little spiritual food?

Ephesians 5:18-20 says this, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

This is a popular verse, often interpreted differently among differing denominations. Some churches see this verse as proof that Christians should refrain from drinking alcohol at all, while others view it as a verse that encourages self control when consuming alcoholic beverages so as not to negatively affect a person's witness for Christ.

However, regardless of personal opinions about drinking, the real truth tucked in between the lines here holds a much broader purpose than beverage consumption.

This verse encourages us to think about anything that we are filling ourselves up with that is not only temporarily satisfying, but results in leaving no room for the Holy Spirit to reside.

Apparently, some pagan worshipers in Paul's time would intentionally get drunk as a form of their worship. They filled themselves with the affects of wine before and during worship, rather than seeking the affects of the Holy Spirit. They sought after the physical feelings that the wine caused, instead of the spiritual feelings that the Holy Spirit could fill them with.

Paul is mainly concerned here with the fact that their drunkenness not only led to reckless actions, but that they were purposely filling up with wine, instead of filling up with the Holy Spirit. They were choosing a temporary substitute of fulfillment, instead of seeking a permanent fullness of heart through God.

Most of us would agree that being overly filled with any alcoholic beverage is not pleasing to God, however we often overlook or justify the act of over-indulging in other sinful ways.

For example, have you ever considered how "filling up" with powerful emotions in our hearts and minds - such as as jealousy, lust, anger, hurt, bitterness, temptation, worry - can result in leaving little room in our heart for the Holy Spirit?

If we are filled up with negative emotions, the the Holy Spirit is slowly pushed out. Leaving us empty. Full of something that is not of God.

This week, we may get filled up with food, but what will fill us up next week? Will we be focused on only on our physical needs and feelings, or our spiritual needs and feelings as well?

Staying spiritually filled up is a choice we all must make. A choice to spend time in prayer, reading God's Word, attending church, serving His kingdom, and fellowshipping with other believers. These things take time, but are always time well spent.

Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to reside in our hearts. However, to stay filled up with Him, we have to continue to overindulge in what He has to offer, and take no substitutes.

Thanksgiving day comes and goes, sometimes all too quickly it seems, but the desire to be full in heart and soul can continue all year round.

What has been filling you up lately? How will you stay spiritually filled up now that all the Thanksgiving dishes are put away?

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Gratitude List

Out of habit  (not because it is the right way or only way to pray), I typically start out my prayers by thanking God for the day at hand, and any other things that I am feeling especially thankful for. Then I proceed to ask for forgiveness for my sins, and progress through my conversation with God. When praying with my children, I have always followed this pattern as well.

Now, when I listen to my children pray out loud, it is obvious that they have picked up on  my prayer habits, and usually begin and end with thankfulness.

In the mind of a child, it is easy to thank God for the small things, and the obvious things -  such as this day, the sunshine, the rain, food, friends, etc. After all, God created us with a heart of gratitude for His goodness. It is His will that we practice being thankful, as stated in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 "in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (NASB)

But as we grow up and life gets busy, we often lose that innate desire and ability to be thankful. We tend to look at all the problems, instead of the blessings, and focus on all the things we wish were different, instead of all the things that are good.

So in light of the season, I thought it would be nice to return to that child-like mentality, and focus my prayers on nothing but thankfulness. I created a gratitude list and poured my heart into thanking God for each thing that came to mind. It was refreshing, and thought provoking, and reminded me of many God-given blessings that I take for granted every day.

I want to encourage you today, to put aside your 'normal' way of praying, making your only focus be one of thanksgiving, and create your own gratitude list. If you are like me, as you focus specifically on your gratitude to God over everything else, you may have lots of things come to mind that you would ordinarily not even pause to think about. To help get your thoughts rolling, I will share with you my own gratitude list.

My 2011 Gratitude List:

1. My relationship with Jesus Christ and knowing that I am whole because of Him
2. The privilege of being allowed to worship Him freely in this country
3. My faith, and knowing that He is always with me
4. The possession of many Bibles for me and my family to read
5. My husband Michael, and the 21 1/2 years we have been together
6. Having a loving husband that provides for our family & loves our children
7. Having a husband who is my best friend
8. Two beautiful daughters and one handsome son, and the joy of watching them grow up
9. A husband and 3 children who all love the Lord, & that all our extended family members love the Lord
10. The incredible church we belong to, and all the people who attend there that are so dear to our hearts
11. Our Youth Pastor, Kasey, who has helped foster my children's walk with God
12. The re-dedication of faith, and baptism, of my two teenage daughters this year
13. Seeing my son go down to the altar at church and pray a few weeks ago when God spoke to his heart
14. The happiness in our home and the heart of God that makes it a wonderful place to live
15. The precious laughter of my family and the fun times we enjoy together
16. Good health
17. Being blessed with the best mother in the world, who I also call 'best friend'
18. My Dad, sister and brother and their spouses and all the little nieces and nephews that we love
19. My husbands parents, sister and her husband, of whom love us as dearly as we love them
20. Having cars to drive to get us where we need to go
21. Good schools and education systems for our kids
22. Feeling safe and secure in our home and neighborhood
23. Knowing that we have enough to food to eat each day
24. The joy of being a speaker and a writer
25. The blessing of being a part of the Godly group of women at Proverbs 31 Ministries
26. The privilege of working at a local Pregnancy Resource Center and witnessing to women in need
27. Clothes to wear, shoes for my feet, and a warm coat for the winter
28. Clean air to breathe
29. Peace in my heart even when life is not peaceful
30. Cell phones, so I can always reach my loved ones, especially my teenagers
31. Clean water to drink
32. A computer, and access to the Internet so I can share what God lays on my heart with others; be encouraged by reading how others experience God in their lives; stay connected with everyone, and more.
33. Apple Butter & Starbucks coffee
34. The beach
35. A soft bed to sleep in every night, and my contour foam pillow
36. Sweet friendships with my girlfriends
37. The problems that we have encountered this year, because they have brought us back to a greater dependence on God
38. How God has used some difficult circumstances in my marriage to bring my husband and I closer together
39. Christmas, my favorite time of the year, and all the sights, sounds, and smells that it brings
40. The smell and feel of a fresh, crisp morning which revitalizes my spirit

What will be on your gratitude list today?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

A Thanksgiving Lesson From Peppermint Patti

I love all the old Charlie Brown cartoons. Despite the fact that they are obviously outdated and painfully inferior to the animated graphics of today, there are always moral lessons to be learned.

In the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving cartoon, we are reminded to make sure that we approach Thanksgiving with our hearts, and not just with our words. Peppermint Patti, Charlie Browns tom-boyish friend and wanna-be girlfriend, shows us what TO DO, and what NOT TO DO, during this special holiday.

You see, Peppermint Patti, upon sitting down at their Thanksgiving meal, brought up the subject of prayer, or saying grace, before they began eating. Her reason for praying was because "its thanksgiving, you know."  In other words, "we are supposed to be thankful on Thanksgiving, so let's say a prayer of thanks."  She had head knowledge of thankfulness, but not heart knowledge.

Here is a little clip of Peppermint Patti initiating the prayer, and the incredible prayer of Linus that followed:

(email subscribers can click here to watch this video)

This is an example of what TO DO: Pray and give thanks for everything.

Saying 'grace' before we eat is something we should all do, not only at Thanksgiving, but every meal of every day of every year. Yet often we neglect to do so because we are busy and pressed for time; we simply forget; or we just fail to see its importance.

In fact, even at Thanksgiving - the primary day of the year for giving thanks to God in prayer - we can easily dive into the holiday and all the yummy food, and forget to give thanks to the One who provided all that we enjoy. Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks from the heart, for food, but also for everything that God has provided.

Although Peppermint Patti gets a gold star for iniating the call to prayer, her actions that followed left a lot to be desired. Take a look at this quick clip, proving that Patti's heart was not in tune with her words:

(email subscribers can click here to watch this video)

This is an example of what NOT TO DO: Pray because you think it is expected, but then forget to actually be thankful.

Based on Patti's actions, it appears that although her mind thought that praying was the "right" thing to do, her heart did not embrace true thankfulness, which resulted in her not acting the "right" way towards others.

You see, when her expectations of the holiday did not match up with her reality, Patti got upset. She got irritated. She began to verbally express her dissatisfaction. She was annoyed at the guest (Snoopy) at her table. She was agitated that the food did not meet her traditional requirements. She complained and yelled.

She quickly forgot all about the prayer of thankfulness as she focused on her surroundings and her perceived shortcomings in their celebration. Her mind was distracted from prayer and thanksgiving, whem she became focused on people and circumstances.

Unfortunately this scene is all too familiar in households across the country. We want Thanksgiving to look like glamorized holiday commercials, but our reality may not match up to our expectation.

It is rare that families sit down at the Thanksgiving dinner table.....with perfect white tablecloths, exquisite China and matching lacy napkins.....glistening, brown turkeys that are perfectly cooked.... twelve elegant side dishes... and a buffet of desserts that look like Paula Deen stopped by.

Rarely do families get through Thanksgiving dinner.....with children who exhibit pristine manners.... with babies who do not cry and hold off on bowel movements... with siblings who dont argue... with spouses who dont quarrel.... with drinks that are not spilled....with extended family who actually agree on which ballgame to watch or when to cut the pumpkin pie... with perfection in every way.

When emotions are high and expectations are unmet, we can immediately morph into a Peppermint Patti if we are not careful - a person who gives thanks with their mouths, but not with their hearts and actions.

I want to leave you with two challenges as you wake up on Thanksgiving morning this year:

(1) Commit to prayer. Not just before you eat, but all day long, thanking God for all the things that you are blessed with, big and small. Take nothing for granted and pray from the heart.

(2) Commit to carry that mindset of prayer thoughout the day as your foundation for unshakable gratitude. When the day does not go exactly as desired, focus on exhibiting a heart of love, in all situations -- even if popcorn is the main side dish. Smiles.

Thanksgiving is not a holiday, but a holy attitude.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Thankful For Undeserved Blessings

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving has rolled around again. Next week, millions of people will focus on being thankful for their blessings, because of the designated day that prompts us all to exhibit gratitude.

But is one day really enough? Did God orchestrate a day of Thanksgiving through the picnic of the Pilgrims long ago, so that we would remember to be thankful for at least one day?

I think not. Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate God's goodness, but it should not be the only day we intentionally do so.

True gratitude is a lifestyle, not a holiday.

Recently as I was making out my grocery list and preparing for our family gatherings next week, I felt God nudge my spirit, and had this overwhelming desire to stop what I was doing, and simply say thank you.

I laid down my pen, and took a moment to chat with God, thanking Him for all the people and blessings in my life that were far too many to count. Yet, as I made my mental gratitude list, a question began to plague my thoughts.

Why has God blessed me so? What have I done to deserve His goodness? What did I ever do to warrant any mercy or grace from God? Not that I don't have problems in my life or issues to resolve, but overall, I am truly blessed...... why?

As I pondered these questions, I was reminded of how undeserving I really am. My thoughts began to wander to all the not-so-pretty parts of 'me' and my life overall.

I am not always a patient mom. I am not always a loving wife. I am not always the best daughter, sister, friend, or neighbor. I have sins in my past, and my present, as I fail daily in big and little ways, falling so short of the glory of God. Sometimes bitterness, resentment, discontentment, and jealousy reside in my heart. I do not always make God a priority as I run through my busy days.

I became acutely aware that I definitely deserved nothing from God. And that thought compelled me to pour out love and gratitude for my Lord even more.

This moment with God was prompted by something I had done a few weeks earlier. I had entered "Thanksgiving" as a recurring daily appointment into the calendar on my cell phone, so that each day, the calendar reminder would pop up on my screen as a  visual reminder.

I didn't need a reminder about when Thanksgiving was going to occur, but about what Thanksgiving was to be about. 

You see, in that recurring calendar reminder, I had not only typed in the word "Thanksgiving", but also included the verse Hebrews 12:28a.

Hebrews 12:28 says this from The Message Bible, "Do you see what we've got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God."

The New Living Translation says it this way: "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe."

Sometimes in the busyness of life, I lose sight of what I am supposed to be seeing. I forget what I have and what God has really given me, when I become distracted by problems, worry or negative feelings.

I tend to focus on being thankful for the tangible blessings I enjoy, but inadvertently forget to be thankful for all the intangible blessings that God has offered, like peace, hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness and eternal life.

All of which are much undeserved.

We have a kingdom and a God that cannot be shaken, no matter how much our life seems to be shaken up. We have a God whose blessings pour out every day, even when we fall short of His glory in more than ways than one.

If you ask me, those are certainly reasons to be thankful all year long.

Recently I read a blog post about a man who keeps a small rock in his pocket every where he goes. Each time he puts his hands in his pocket and feels the rock, he is reminded to thank God for at least one thing.

What do you do, or what can you begin  doing, to help you remember to be thankful for undeserved blessings?

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sitting in God's Waiting Room

Have you ever been forced to wait a long time in a doctor's office, maybe even an hour or more past your appointment time? I have endured this torture many times, and I'll be honest  I am not a good "waiter".

As I sit in the waiting room with all the other patients, tapping my foot on the floor, and watching the clock tick away the seconds on the wall, I become increasingly agitated.

Then after reading every outdated magazine available on the tables, my thoughts begin to focus more and more on the fact that I am, in essence, being held there against my will. The more time that passes, the more my impatience begins to fester, and eventually my mind begins to wander to an ugly place.

I wonder if the doctor is overbooked and simply has more patients than he can actually handle.

I wonder why the doctor is not being considerate of my time at all. I guess he thinks his time is more precious than mine.

I wonder why other patients, who came in after me, are being seen before me. Why are they more important than I am? Life is so unfair. Hmmppphh.

In fact, I begin to wonder if the doctor is even in the office?! Maybe he is not really there, and the nurses are just implementing stall tactics to keep the patients from leaving. Wow. How dare they do that.

Eventually I start to wonder if maybe I should just go home and try to fix the problem myself with over-the-counter medications, or just wait out the issue, hoping it will get better on its own.

I'm sure I am not the only one whose mind 'wonders' in the midst of an impatient tirade. But the funny thing is, that this same line of thinking is what many of us do when we are waiting on God.

When we don't see God intervening to fix our problems or answer our prayers in a timely manner, we begin to wonder if He is just too busy.

We wonder if He is 'overbooked', with too many people with bigger, more important problems.

We begin to wonder if maybe He cares about other people more than us, because it appears He is answering their prayers before ours, and that doesn't seem fair.

We begin to wonder if God is even in, because if He were, wouldn't we have seen a glimpse of Him by now?

We may even begin to wonder if we should try to handle or fix the problems on our own.

Unfortunately this game of idle spiritual waiting can lead to a lot of wondering.  Wondering that can lead us away from God, as we focus on our expectations of timeliness, instead of His implementation of perfect timing.

Whether in the doctor's waiting room, or Gods waiting room, waiting is simply not something any of us want, or like, to do. In fact, our minds are not even programmed to wait on anything anymore, due to living in this land of immediate gratification.

We expect fast food to be fast, and when it isn't, we get irritated at the people who work there. We expect the ATM to instantly spit out money, to eliminate waiting in line inside. We pop food in the microwave and stand there staring at it until it's done. We use the self-checkout at the grocery store, so we don't have to wait on someone else to do it.

We have instant access to information through the Internet, and feel like eternity is passing as we watch the hourglass blink and 'think'.

We have instant messaging, emails, Skype and facebook so that we can enjoy instant communication and feedback. We send a text message to someone, and if they haven't responded in one minute or less, we assume they did not receive it and send it again.

Living in this age of instant gratification makes waiting on anything hard to do - especially waiting on God. As we pace around in God's waiting room, waiting on Him to call our name, we can easily become frustrated with His perceived inactivity and silence, and His seemingly unhurried pace.

Maybe you find yourself in Gods waiting room today. Maybe it is a new place for you, or maybe it is a room you have spent a lot of time in, just waiting.  Waiting to see the One who has the authority and the power to fix your problems, grant your wishes, answer your prayers, heal your hurts, ease your heartaches, fill you with peace and make your dreams come true.

And that waiting -  is hard - yet, during the wait, we can choose whether our minds wander to a happy place, or an ugly place.

We can choose to wonder about Gods will and His timing, or we can choose to wonder whether or not His will and His timing matters.

We can choose to wonder about how we can stand strong in our faith, or we can choose to wonder if faith is all its cracked up to be.

We can choose to wonder about which verses in God's Word may apply to our situation, or we can choose to wonder if Gods Word is really applicable anymore.

We can choose to wonder about how God is going to act, or we can choose to wonder about whether or not He will act at all.

Waiting is not a matter of time, it is a matter of faith and trust.

It is an opportunity for us to lay everything at the foot of the cross, and trust God, or to turn our backs on Him and walk away, assuming that since we do not see Him working, He is not really there.

These periods of waiting are often exactly what our Doctor, the real Great Physician, ordered.
Waiting is at the core of the Christian life, as we expectantly wait to see how He will carry out His will in our lives. It can be an opportunity to build our faith, trust and hope in Him, as we obey His commandment to wait on His timing, and His will for our lives.

Waiting requires trusting that God knows, even when we are feeling impatient.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. (NKJV)

Are you in Gods waiting room today?

If so, let your mind wander.....about the hope that can be found through Him; the trust that you can place in Him because He holds the answers to all things; the peace that surpasses understanding; the excitement that you will feel once you can see how God has been sitting right beside you in the waiting room all along; and most importantly, to the perfect timing of His answer when it does finally come.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Making Every Hour Count

For the first time in many months, my family and I enjoyed a weekend with no obligations! No sports practices, no ballgames, no travel. Just time, to do whatever we wanted. It was a strange phenomenon in the Miles household.

So on Saturday, we spent time doing all kinds of things, just because we had the freedom to do so, and when Sunday morning arrived, I was sleeping like a baby when dawn crept into my bedroom. I yawned, looked at the clock and prepared to force myself out of my warm bed, when I remembered - I had an extra hour due to the end of daylight savings time! What a glorious moment. :)

I have never been so excited to leisurely get up and savor a hot cup of coffee overflowing with my beloved peppermint mocha creamer! As I enjoyed my bonus hour, and my coffee, I began to think about how precious the gift of time really is.

I then remembered the verse from Ephesians 5:15-16, which says,"Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise—making the most of the time, because the days are evil." (HCSB)

In this passage of the Bible, Paul is suggesting that God's people pay careful attention to their behavior, and steer away from sinful conduct. He is calling them to unite together by setting themselves apart and living a life that is within God's will.

But then we read that Paul calls us to be wise not only in our conduct, but in our time, and how we spend our time. He is reminding us of the importance of time - because once time is spent, we can never get it back.

In these verses Paul says that we are to "make the most" of our time. He is imploring us to use our time wisely, and embrace the opportunities to spend our time doing things that matter and that glorify God.

What I thought was very interesting, was that the reason Paul gave for encouraging people to spend their time wisely, was because "the days are evil". According to a recent Lifeway article that I read, the Greek word "evil" refers to "that which is wicked in a moral sense".

What Paul is really saying in this verse, is that we must believe that every day is full of time, and full of temptations to be distracted from focusing on the things that are right in God's eyes - the ways that He would have us spend our time.

Paul is encouraging us to consider whether or not our time is being well spent every day - based on Gods perspective, and not our own.

There is obviously no set criteria for what justifies if time is being well spent. In fact, the reality is that most people spend the majority of their time at work, out of obligation and a necessity. However, outside of work or normal daily obligations, Paul is calling us to ask ourselves if our time is really well spent according to Gods instructions.

Are we spending time doing pointless things, mindless things, pleasurable things, maybe even sinful things.... or are we spending our time doing things that impact others, glorify God, create family unity and a foster a stronger faith?

Are we spending time focusing on things that really matter, or do we typically devote our time on less important things - like watching television, following sports scores, reading magazines, surfing the Internet, or chatting on Facebook?

Not to say that we don't all need some down time - time to just relax, not think about anything, rest and enjoy ourselves. But Paul is encouraging us to examine if our time is well spent on a consistent daily/weekly/monthly basis.

Paul is compelling us to look at the patterns of how we spend our most precious commodity.

Think about how you can best use the extra hour we were given this weekend.Write down something important that you would like to accomplish in that extra hour, and hold yourself accountable for meeting that goal.

We can also can take this thought a step further, considering that we are kicking off the season of year that revolves around lots of time consuming holiday activities. Make a conscious decision today about how you are going to devote your time in the coming weeks, and ask God to help you stay focused and committed to spending your time on the things that really matter.

“Don’t count every hour in the day,
make every hour in the day count.”

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Friday, November 4, 2011

How Eating Fruit Loops Can Glorify God

As I was sitting at my kitchen table eating some Kellogg's fruit loops yesterday morning, I remembered a verse I had read in my quiet time the day before.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (NIV)

I could not help but wonder, "how does eating my cereal glorify God?". Then a little wave of guilt fell over me.... maybe I should have stuck to eating my normal Special K cereal, instead of divulging in sugar coated fruity circles - would that glorify God more?

It sounds like a silly thought, however, this verse above says EVERYTHING we do should glorify God, including eating and drinking. I suppose that 'everything' would even include fruit loop consumption.

So I looked up the official definition of "glorify", and it said:

- to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration
- to elevate to celestial glory
- to light up brilliantly
- to represent as glorious
- to give glory to (as in worship)

So, as I eat my fruit loops - based on the definitions above - I should be elevating God, lighting up brilliantly from the inside out, representing the Holy Spirit, and giving Him glory. Somehow that makes eating my cereal seem a bit more complicated than I would like.

The command to "glorify God in all that you do" can almost seem overwhelming. Seriously, how can we glorify Him in ALL that we do? It seems easy to glorify Him through our prayers, through our service, and in our ministries. It is easy to give Him glory when we see prayers answered and blessings occur. It is even sometimes easy to glorify Him in hard times, as we have learned to trust that He knows best.

But how can I "glorify" God through fruit loop eating?

Hmmm..... I suppose.... I could praise Him for the fact that I have breakfast food to eat. I could praise Him for the table in my kitchen; for the heat that is keeping me warm while I consume my crunchy o's; for the spoon in my hand; for the coordination to use my fingers to hold the spoon and get it to my mouth; for the eyes that allow me to see my bowl; for the cows that He created that produced the milk in my bowl;  and for the ability to swallow.

Glorifying God is not really about "what" we do, but "how" we do it, and whether we choose to praise Him through our thoughts and actions.

It is about living out our faith in every aspect of life, from eating and drinking, to dressing and carrying out normal daily routines, to praising and worshipping.

It is about being a Godly role model to others, so that through our behaviors and spoken words, others might be see His reflection in us.

God IS glory, and thus only He can magnify Himself. So when we glorify God, we are really not giving Him glory, but rather reflecting His glory, even in the mundane, routine and seemingly unimportant acts that we carry out in our every day lives.

In pondering all of this, I had some questions trickle through my mind:

Do I glorify God in my every day actions?

Do I glorify Him in my work and with my time?

Do I glorify Him in my conversations with others, and in what I say or what I choose not to say?

Do I glorify God in what I watch on television, and the words that I read?

Do I glorify God in what I wear and the places I go?

Do I glorify Him in what I eat and drink?

Maybe these are questions to ask yourself today too. Consider how you can better reflect Gods glory in all that you do, even if you are simply eating a bowl of fruit loops.

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