Prepare for the New Year: Make Your Life Count For God:
Have you ever thought about the end of your life? When you look back over all you’ve done, how will you view your choices? After I married, my husband talked about that a lot. At first, it seemed grim. After all, we were in our twenties. Over time, however, I changed my mind. Psalm 92 says, “Teach us to number our days that we may have a heart of wisdom.” Such good advice!
As we enter a new year, this is a great time to consider our purpose in life. Consider Romans 12:3: “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”
This verse commands us to have sober judgment, which means to think clearly about ourselves. I find it easy to be self-centered and to feel as if life revolves around me, but that’s not true. In fact, this passage tells us to acknowledge the measure of faith God has given us. If you keep reading Romans 12, you’ll discover Paul moves into spiritual gifts. He describes the church as a body and individuals as members. When you come to Christ, He gives you a spiritual gift. That’s the measure of faith Paul speaks of. When you think correctly, you realize your value in relationship to the rest of the body of Christ. The head needs the hands to do its bidding and feet for movement and balance. The body of Christ doesn’t have useless parts. You have a special gifting for your time that no one else can fill like you can. You aren’t the whole body, but a valuable part of the whole. (What a great recipe for self-esteem: doing God’s will.)
So how do you find your purpose, your gifting? Poppy Smith is my guest. She wrote: Go For It! Make Your Life Count For God. She helps women uncover their gifts and live up to their potential.
3:00 How can we live on purpose?
5:00 How does God prepare us to be used?
7:05 His shaping.
7:40 How can we learn what we are best suited for?
Facing death can make you serious about life. When the Apostle Paul faced death, he wrote the following words: ” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4: 7-8 ESV)
Have you ever considered what you might think on your deathbed? What would you be glad you did? What actions would you like to change?
Several months ago, I started seeing double, and as a retired nurse, I was afraid. I couldn’t think of any illness that wasn’t quite serious that would produce those symptoms. I hurried to my doctor, very glad he could see me quickly, and I prayed for God’s presence. It made me think seriously. Am I loving others enough? Or Am I too selfish? It’s easier to ignore a little jam stuck to the countertops when life and death issues emerge.
Today I have two guests, one is Paul Perkins. He’s a banker from Missouri who has had severe health issues and died several times. His tortuous journey included a kidney transplant and a heart transplant. He’s telling his story along with Anita Brooks. Anita Brooks had her own near-death experience. She’s an author and speaker who assisted Paul with the book.
2:15 Paul, how did facing death change you?
3:50 What lessons stuck?
7:30 Anita, what got you through hard times?
10:00 Paul, you received two organs. How does it feel to have organs that belonged to someone else?
12:05 Anita, how does it feel to be an organ donor?
13:25 Anita, what was the recovery like for you?
15:45 Share how these experiences gave you courage
I take a regular exercise class several times a week. On Fridays, the teacher dismisses with “Come back on Monday and we’ll start this process all over again.”
She always laughs when she says it, but it makes me feel like a gerbil on those round exercise balls that spin over and over. You can get in a routine, even a good routine and a sense of boredom sets in.
Get up in the morning, head off to work, or maybe you’re a mom with little ones. You feed them, change diapers and you do it all over again the next day. When my children were little, one would come and ask when I’d fix dinner. I’d get a little silly and say. “I fed you yesterday. You want to eat again.”
But you know what I mean. Ecclesiastes a time for everything under heaven: a time to bake, and a time to discard what was baked;
Have you ever wanted to live an extraordinary life? What makes life have pizzazz? I believe having a purpose does that. You live for something bigger than yourself. The apostle Paul said he longed to know Jesus Christ and to become holy like he would be after he was raised from the dead.
An indescribable life? An un-explainable life?
My guest today is Erica Wiggenhorn, who just completed a Bible study on Acts, An Unexplainable Life.
2:10 What is one of your favorite lessons from Acts?
3:45 Give us examples of how the Holy Spirit worked differently in each life?
5:45 God’s exciting creativity.
6:30 Similarities in the OT stories and the tongues of fire spoken of in Acts
9:20 How did the disciples change after the Holy Spirit came? Especially Peter?
13:00 Explain the importance of the clouds in the ascension of Christ?
15:13 Share the role prayer played in the book of Acts. How is it important today?
16:55 How was Stephen’s life unexpected?
19:25 How can the book of Acts encourage us today?
How can you be a phenomenal grandparent? A few months ago, I became a grandparent for the very first time. First, I saw my daughter in labor. What an experience. That wasn’t my favorite part of motherhood. Second, I gazed at this beautiful baby girl who is now part of my family, and I found it hard to express the emotions that washed over me. I recalled my own grandmother and my mother. Plus I thought of the day I had my first child.
I love that precious little girl with every cell in my body, but in many ways being a grandmother is different. Grandmothers aren’t mothers. We aren’t in the driver’s seat. Instead, we sit in the back seat. We don’t name the baby, nor do we make decisions about how the baby is raised. While we still want the best for that child, we play a secondary role in the child’s life.
So how can you be a good grandmother? I think about the passage the Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.”
God does work in families. He is, after all, the originator of the family. He does want us to impact the next generation. I love the words of Dr. Mary Manz Simon, “We are life veterans. We bring wisdom, experience, and a clear sense of what’s important.”
Dr. Mary Manz Simon is my guest today and she has just written Faith Footprints with my Grandchild.
2:05 Why did you write this book?
3:10 As a grandmother, what have I left behind?
3:30 Is there a meaning behind the book title?
4:45 What are some worries grandmothers have?
5:45 The word grandmother sounds old-fashioned. How can we get past that?
6:55 How can you build a relationship with your grandchild?
[tweetthis]Leave a legacy with your grandchild[/tweetthis]
Family Internet Safety begins with living unselfishly. You might wonder how I put that together. Let me explain.
Several years ago, my husband and I took a trip with my oldest daughter. At the time, she was young enough that either my husband or I carried her a lot. During that journey, the weather was much cooler than I anticipated, and I didn’t pack warm outerwear. While out visiting the sites, and a lady walked up and said, “She needs to be wearing a sweater.”
I immediately rubbed my arms to generate some warmth and said, “Yes, it’s chilly today.”
But when I turned to look at the woman who spoke, she wasn’t staring at me. She had focused on my daughter who sat in my husband’s arms. How embarrassing! First, I’d made the mistake of leaving warm clothing behind. Secondly, a lady was worried about my daughter, and I assumed she was talking about me.
At that moment, I got an idea of how self-centered I was. I should have been thinking about how the cold might impact my daughter.
Scripture teaches us to be ‘other-centered.’ That is, God doesn’t want us to live to meet our own needs. Instead, he wants us to consider the other person, and as parents, we should be considering our children in every decision we make. I believe that’s one of the biggest benefits parents receive. If we go about our job the right way, we become more mature because our focus goes to our children. Other-centered thinking is healthy.
Of course, Jesus is the ultimate example of unselfishness. Even though he was God, he came to lay down his life for us. The humility there still jars my thinking every time I ponder it. God chose to put aside all his prerogatives to allow himself to suffer and die. How much more should I be doing the same thing?
As parents, the internet and any device connected to the web offers our children a portal into pornography. Boys and girls can see images they are not old enough to view. Many become addicted, and that includes women. This practice is so damaging to marriages, families, and children.
Mike Genung has a ministry to families in this area, and he’s going to give us a few tips on Family Internet Safety.
I raised five children, and I homeschooled all of them through high school. I lived through some very crazy days. With school responsibilities, I tended to put off some things until summer. Repotting my orchids always got bumped, even though I enjoyed the job. It waited.
One morning I worked on my orchids on my screened-in porch. I felt great that afternoon. So relaxed and peaceful. But I needed a tool I’d left inside, so I walked back into the kitchen to find water all over the floor. I looked up at the ceiling where a very large fluorescent light hung. I was one of those with four long bulbs. Water poured out of that light. That concerned me, but I hurried upstairs to the kid’s bathroom that sat just over the kitchen. Someone had closed and locked the door, so I got that little thingie you use to open it. Once inside, I found the water running and sink full of cleaning rags. The plug was closed so water couldn’t go down the drain. Instead, the overflow ran over onto the floor, which was about three inches deep in water.
I unstopped the sink so the water would stop sloshing over and then headed for something to sop up the excess. Suddenly, I heard a loud bang below me, and I went downstairs to investigate. My daughter stood looking up at the place where the kitchen light used to be. Now wires hung out of this big hole and more water poured through. Now I got nervous. Electrical cords and water didn’t work well together, so I wasn’t sure what to do. As I stood there, my son came up from the basement. He announced water was coming through the ceiling into the room we’d just completed down there. Water wouldn’t be good for the carpet, and at that moment, I had tons of water going everywhere.
I sat down and realized I didn’t feel old enough to handle this mess. Whenever I wasn’t sure what to do, I would call my husband. I called him, but he wasn’t there. I made several other phone calls, and I discovered no one stays at home on a Friday afternoon. No one. I knew the water upstairs was no longer running, so I thought we’d make an effort to clean up, but I couldn’t lift this huge light, even with the kids helping.
Now I know that what I needed was chocolate. My guest today is Michelle Medlock Adams. She and her mother shared a piece of chocolate whenever life got hard to handle. Michelle has a book called When Chocolate isn’t’ Enough. Since she’s the expert on when to use chocolate, and we’re going to get her wisdom for those busy days that fall apart.