Planting Seeds of Character

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 5:15

Webster defines character as: moral or ethical quality; good repute; qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity.

I define it as ‘what you do when no one is looking.’

Every night, when I pray with the boys before they go to sleep, I ask Jesus to help them to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. I want Carson and Chase to be men of good character.

And those seeds have to start taking root, today. They have to be boys of good character and then teens of good character to grow into men of good character. It won’t happen overnight. And they won’t just wake up one day, when they are 30 years old and be moral men.

And it won’t happen on their own. They need God’s guidance, and our constant nurturing.

Bobby has started a garden. He’s turned part of our back deck into his own little flowering domain. He has herbs and vegetables and fruits growing. He even spent the day screening in his section of the deck, so Zeke can’t get into his plants and eat them.

Bobby is spending a lot of time with those seeds. He’s watering them and he’s protecting them and eventually, they will produce good fruit. But it will take effort and care.

Just like our little boys. What we put into them today – will produce a fruit later on. And with God’s help, those little guys will be strong trees of good repute!

Father, you give us so many examples in our daily life, to learn how to walk in your ways. Thank you for the lessons … always the lessons. And Jesus, thank you for blessing me with a family that I love so very much. And nope, we’re most certainly NOT perfect, but you love us anyway. Lord, thank you for the good seeds that are growing inside of Carson and Chase. Nurture them Lord and let them produce a harvest for you!

I Love You Jesus.
In Your Name I Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

My Life In 30 Seconds!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pY6cDRzpzPs

Who Can Count On You?

This came to me in a devotional:
Who can count on you? Do you have a reputation for being reliable? Would someone who knows you well stake his life on your faithfulness? Few things are more important than faithfulness. You may be talented, educated and creative but if you’re not dependable, your talents aren’t worth much. Someone has said, “The greatest ability is dependability.”
God rewards faithfulness. That’s how much he desires our faithfulness in our relationships and with our resources.
In the Parable of the Talents recorded in Matthew 25, Jesus says that one day God is going to judge us. But this judgment will not evaluate our ability or good intentions. God is going to judge us and reward us according to our faithfulness. The Bible promises that a faithful man will be richly blessed.
*****This was so appropriate and really touched me. My heart has been dissapointed a few times in the last year. Just of not feeling like I can count on people. And I’m just wondering – can people count on YOU? Do you return messages and get back to people? Do you do what you say you will do? Well-meaninged intentions aren’t well-meaning unless you actually follow through with them.
~ Dionna Sanchez
http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com

Let Your Word Stand For Something

There used to be a time when people would say they were going to do something and you could hold them to it. You knew that they would be honorable, show integrity and do what they said they would do. You didn’t even think to question it!

Boy, times have sure changed.

I used to be so trusting – almost to the point of being gullible. I would trust someone until they gave me a reason not to.

My heart is so saddened to see how things have changed. I don’t trust just anyone anymore. People’s “word” doesn’t seem to stand for much anymore. We say, “If you need anything – call me” – but then aren’t available. We promise to call someone or stop by – but something came up. We say we will do something – but somehow time goes on and we forget about it.

It’s happened to me and my husband more times than I’d care to admit. People have let us down.

I don’t understand how people can continue to go on about their life – say a glib “sorry” and think that will cover it. Don’t they care that their reputation has been damaged? Don’t they worry about how responsible, trustworthy, or honorable that other people will think of them? I’m guessing not… because it seems to me that people who truly do

keep their word nowadays – are in the minority.

I really, really strive to be a person of integrity. If I say I will do something – I have high expectations of myself to do it. That’s why I don’t commit myself to things lightly. I want my word to stand for something with others. I want them to know they can trust me – they can count on me – and that I am what I seem.

My question for you today is – are you what you seem? Do you always have “well-meaninged” intentions that don’t go any

where? It’s time to change that.

You see, Satan is the one who takes those “well-meaninged” intentions and lets distractions, self-centeredness, busyness, pride of our own time or possessions – and he lets those get in the way of following Christ’s example of being there for others. If you “take” more than you “g

ive” in relationships – you might take a step back and look at how and if your word stands for anything in your life.

Because when all is said and done – sometimes our “word” (followed out by action) is the only thing we truly have that represents who we are. Do you stand for something that rings hollow — or something that rings true?
~ Visit Dionna’s blog for parents at http://influencinglives.blogspot.com

Into His Presence

Who is the “you” that no one else sees? Who is the “you” that hides hurts deep inside?
There are just times in life where it feels like the winds of life are beating down on us and we are standing up by ourselves facing that wind on our own. It’s not that others don’t care or aren’t trying to understand what we are going through – it’s just that God has asked us to go through this particular challenge in life, with Him alone. These are the times where He draws us into His presence to teach us something, or show us something very personal. It feels like we will break at times – but we won’t. We will only bend. 🙂

I used to dread these times in my life. I would feel sorry for myself and wonder why only “I” could really feel or understand a certain situation or circumstance. Now I am learning to embrace them. It’s not that they are comfortable or that I have grown some newfound courage to endure hard times – it’s simply that I am gaining an inner understanding about what these challenges in my life are about.

They are about God drawing me closer to Him.

My mom and I were talking about how situations in life grow character in your heart. I used to tell her that I didn’t want more character – because it usually hurt to get it! 🙂 But as we were talking, remembering and smiling about this; I shared with her that although it hurts to get stretched by God at times, I have never once regretted a painful, hurtful, or challenging time in life that was designated by God. Not once. Because He has used each one in my heart and life to have a ministry and to help others. He has used each one to grow insight into my heart, to mature me as a believer, and to draw me closer to Him. And oh how I love to be closer to Him!

Wherever we are in life; if we are feeling all alone or that maybe God is “sifting” us and weeding things out of our lives — please consider the fact that He may just be calling you by name and asking you to personally come into His presence for a little while so that He may share some truths with you and you alone. It can be a very special and precious time that is shared by only you and the Lord, if you choose to look at it that way.

Right now, God may be trying to draw you into His presence. You may be going through things that no one else can go through with you. Let Him speak to you – let Him be with you. Draw the strength and courage you need from being in His presence.

~ Dionna Sanchez
Visit Dionna’s main blog at http://beautyinthestorm.blogspot.com