Thursday, July 25, 2013

are you predictable?

Chick-fil-A is my favorite place for a quick lunch.  This particular day, I was having a repeat visit to the same location!  After placing my order with the gal working the drive-thru, she said, "I remember you.  You ALWAYS spell your name and order the same thing!"  

She got me thinking about being a predictable person.  There was a time in my life that I wanted people to think I was complicated or mysterious (in my 20's).  Now, I consider it a compliment that someone can know how I might respond in or to different situations.  

This led me to think about God and the fact that His character is consistent, unchanging & predictable!

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8

For I am the Lord, I do not change… Malachi 3:5

Can you see this is why we can trust Him - because He is predictable! 

He is completely reliable, absolutely trustworthy & totally dependable.  Wow!  Talk about the perfect relationship you could have with someone :)

Though His character is unchanging and predictable, His works are spontaneous, creative and....unpredictable!   

Are you trusting in the one who is always predictable?

new web @ www.simplewithsyd.com



Tuesday, July 23, 2013

BOUNTY...the quicker picker-upper

Remember Rosie, a waitress in a diner, who uses Bounty to clean up spills made by the diner's patrons & demonstrates that it has better absorption compared to other brands?  The tagline was 'the quicker picker-upper'.

Thanks to my new biking friend, Sue, I got a different spin on 'the quicker picker-upper'. 

Sue, though witty, would have me to believe she is a worry wart.  Jokingly, I said, "Okay, I will let you be the worry wart and I will be the lifter-upper."  We both laughed as we recalled the Bounty commercial. 


A lifter-upper is someone who picks up others (a picker upper).  Sue told me, "I have you in my phone contacts as Sydney 'Bounty'.  I would love to live up to that name!  I know, however, that apart from Him, I don't have anything of lasting encouragement.  It is His words that are Spirit and they (His words) life.

One definition of Bounty is generosity in giving.  The word is also used as a free gift.  God's life-giving Spirit is a never ending giving.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV

How do people know you?  Are you a worry wart, or are you a quicker picker-upper.  Are you looking to lift others and leave them in a better state than when you came in contact with them?

New web @ www.simplewithsyd.com

Friday, July 12, 2013

Loose lips sink ships



Even though it has been 20+ years, I still remember a time at my Mom's house like it was yesterday.   It was 5:30am and I was reading in James, chapter 3.  

I jumped out of my seat and went running down the hallways to my mother's room.  Mom was clearly asleep and my one-sided, enthusiastic conversation went something like this:

"MOM?!!  Are you up?!!.....I was just reading in James 3.  Loose lips sink ships!  LOOSE LIPS SINK SHIPS!!"

What are we speaking to one another, and in the hearing of others?  We either speak life or death - that's the power of the tongue.   


We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.

When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.  Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.  James 3:2-5 NIV

I had certainly heard this phrase before, but now I saw it in the Word.  Loose lips sink ships.  I found out that this phrase was coined as a slogan during WWII as part of the US Office of War Information's attempt to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to enemy spies.

Do you realize that there is an enemy in this world who is looking for the opportunity to get us to agree with his side?  One tactic is through our tongue, as the tongue gets us into trouble because we forget to monitor what it is we are saying.

Loose lips can cost us to lose part of life and the life of our hearers.  Do you want to be a life-giver or a life-taker, by your words? 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What do you say?


Who do YOU say that I am?
Jesus said, “But who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Peter, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 16:15-17 NKJV

Loving the life!  See new web @ www.simplewithsyd.com

Hide-and-seek anybody?

In that moment, I got it!  

I was sitting at a street light, you know…a little glance over to the car next to me.  There she was, a beautiful woman in her nice car.  I was not jealous or envious, but rather a bit caught in a daze at how perfect it all looked to my eyes.  


Right then, I heard Him say to me, "but...you are hidden in Me."  I instantly got what He was wanting me to get.  He told me that I was beautiful because my chosen place was to hide behind Him.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not bragging on myself - no!  Rather, I am pointing to the fact that true beauty, anything beautiful that is seen or known is because of the hiding place.  I'm hiding.  Can you find me?

Photo by:  Anthony  Kelly
You see, it's like the kids' game of hide-and-seek.  A children's game in which a number of players hide themselves in a particular environment, only to be found by the one or more of the seekers.   
 
...your life is hidden with Christ in God.
Colossians 3:3 NKJV

Where is your identify found?  Is it found in trying to impress man or is it found in the identity of Christ?


Want to know a secret?  He absolutely wants to be found, by you!

Loving the life! See new web @ www.simplewithsyd.com

Saturday, July 6, 2013

is carrot cake.....

....so incredibly yummy that it is not of this world to you?  

Maybe you would consider a certain relationship you have as not of this world


I wonder if this is because we think a particular thing or person is almost too good for this world as we know it?  Could it be that out of this world is something that is extra-ordinary? 

I find it fascinating that Jesus spoke of something that was truly out of this world.  It might surprise you to know that He considered US to be not of this world! 
 
This is what I command you:  that you love one another.  If the world hates you, know that it hated Me before it hated you.


If you belonged to the world, the world would treat you with affection and would love you as its own. But because you are not of the world [no longer one with it], but I have chosen (selected) you out of the world, the world hates (detests) you.  John 15:17-19 AMP

It sure seems like a bit much for the natural mind to conceive, right?  But Jesus said that those who believed in Him and received Him become of another world - not the world that we only see with natural eyesight.  What world?  A world that is from above, a spiritual seeing and knowing, not natural but super natural. 

You can hear the sound of the wind, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.  John 3:8

This is just what He meant when speaking of those who are born again.  To receive a new life in Him, not from the natural birth of a mother, but a new birth by His Spirit.  

Are YOU of this world?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

where does it begin?

                  
It all begins in the heart of man.
 
"The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. 

But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind.  I get to the heart of the human.  I get to the root of things.  I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be."
Jeremiah 17:9-10 MSG

Restrictions may limit what a person can do outwardly, but it cannot change the who that a person is inwardly.

Our behavior comes from the inward person.  This is the heart of the matter.  In scriptures, the heart is the center of the will (mind, will & emotions) which in turn determines our actions.

The diagnosis of the heart of man is hopelessly dark and deceitful.  Yikes!  But wait!  If we can accept the diagnosis that we are sinners (full of self-will) then we can receive the cure.  Do you want to know the cure?  Receive a new heart.  This is God's radical intervention!

"Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous—possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God’s favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God!"
Matthew 5:8 AMP

A clean heart comes from choosing to turn from our own self-will life to a God-will life (ask Him).  Believe in your heart that Jesus paid the price on the cross for your sins, turn from your way of doing things and receive your new heart. 

I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. 
Ezekiel 36:26 NLT