K IS FOR KINDNESS. Galatians 5:22 “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
It is one of the nine traits listed in the Fruits of the Spirit by Paul in Galatians. We, as Christians, should already be well-known by friends and family for our peace, patience, kindness, etc but it is often more difficult this time of year. It seems that the attitude of people these days is to find the best deal at the most crowded store. The world’s idea of the ideal Christmas is to get their children or other loved ones the most unique or most expensive gifts. Unfortunately, they often do it without much kindness or consideration for others’ personal space. As Christians, we need to make sure that those around us know we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on the 25th day of December, not just how much money we spend. You can use your attitude and the fruit of the spirit to do this. You can be the one who makes the day of the shopper next to you who can’t figure out what to get their sister or spouse. Are you good at gift giving? Or gift wrapping? Help someone who seems lost and not sure what to do. What about your family? Is someone having an especially hard time emotionally or financially this year? Or a neighbor? Some families make it a tradition to volunteer at a shelter or donate toys to your local toy drive. Of course there are many more fruits of the spirit that can be poured out onto others in a charitable situation or even in the retail stores I mentioned. You can make the day of someone, or the child of someone, who may have been standing on the edge of a temper tantrum!
Let me tell you about the kindest thing I received during the Christmas season. In 1994, I was a single mother of two and struggling to work, trying to pay for daycare and food too. In Sunday school several weeks before Christmas, there was a lesson about witnessing to others at work. I spoke up about my struggles, saying I still needed to pay attention to those around me, even though I was having a hard time of it, and listen to God’s prompting to speak about Him not worrying so much since He would take care of those other things. By the end of the class, I had three checks to help me with groceries. Then Christmas eve, a garbage bag filled with presents showed up at my door! I didn’t ask for the help. But just because I was at the right place at the right time and I was brave enough to speak about my problems, my children and I were blessed by the women of the church. Sure enough, He did take care of us.
This is the first chapter of my Christmas devotional Keep Christ in Christmas. It’s 5-10 minutes for 21 days and will help keep your focus on God this Christmas. Check it out at http://amzn.to/2jEReHM
When you are planning your Women’s Ministry calendar for 2018, consider Steph Mounier as a speaker. Go to Steph Speaks Page to find out about her and her topics. Also check out Steph’s books page or Bible journaling page.
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Are you having problems with clutter and housekeeping like I always have?
Take a look at this bundle of joy!
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There is a song on the radio by Matthew West called “Hello, My Name is…” He talks about people who are hindered by regret and defeat. I’m going to add to it guilt, depression, self-doubt, self-recrimination and criticism or any number of things that keeps you from fully committing yourself and your life fully to God. One of the things I post most about, speak on and am writing a book about is loving yourself as God loves you. But as humans, again and again we insist upon making ourselves and others feel bad about themselves. In the Bible God says His love is, “never ending, everlasting, forgiving, and forgetful (of our sins.) He is rich in mercy, shows no partiality or prejudice. God has plans for good in our lives, and keeps all the promises He has made to us in the Bible, of which there are too many to name here. Matthew’s choruses sing that we are “a child of the one true King.” He tells us we are saved, changed and set free by God and His love. If only it were possible for us to love ourselves as God loved us we would have no problems, right? But that would mean we were perfect and we wouldn’t need God! But we are human and imperfect and we need God more and more each day as the world become more selfish and chaotic.
Here are a few things that you can do to keep your focus on God and not regret, defeat and guilt, etc.
- Praise and thankfulness. Remember to praise God for His goodness and blessings in your life, even praise and thank Him for answers to prayer He may not have given you yet. But you know He will, right?
- Ask for forgiveness but then ask Him to help you forget those sins like He has. He tosses your sins in to the Sea of Forgetfulness, never to return. And Jesus didn’t come to condemn us either. So you shouldn’t condemn yourself for your sins over and over again either.
- Remember that God is on your side. If your are loving Him and obeying His Word, He wants to give you good gifts. So keep putting one step in front of the other and He will bring you joy!
Steph is available to speak to your western Washington or Oregon church or women’s group for encouragement, email Steph at email@example.com. Topics I speak about include “Lukewarm or Hot: How Will You Serve God Today?” “How to Love Yourself,” and “How to Parent without Blowing Your Top.”
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