What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Today Chase has been bee-bopping around the house singing, “What’s love got to do with it?” And although he doesn’t know any more of the lyrics to the song, he puts quite a bit of heart into that one line. But as Tina Turner goes on to explain, “What’s love but a second hand emotion?”

But that is not how the Word describes love. In I Corinthians 13, verses 4-8, Paul tells us that:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

We are also told by John that:

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. (I John 4:16)

Well, it’s pretty easy for me to accept that God is patient, kind, does not envy, nor boast. He is not proud, neither rude, nor self-seeking and most certainly not easily angered. He keeps no records of wrongs. (YEAH!) God does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hope, and always perseveres. God never fails us! (YIPPEEE!)

But John also tells us:

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (I John 7 -8)

Okay, so if I love God, I should be love. Which means I should be patient, kind. I should not envy, nor boast. I should not be proud, or rude, or self-seeking, nor easily angered. (OUCH!) I should keep no records of wrongs, (oh this is hard). I should not delight in evil, but rejoice with the truth. (However much the truth may hurt sometimes). I should always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. I should never fail!

OUCH … OUCH … OUCH!

I don’t know about you … but I have a long way to go. The good news is, God is with me and helping me to become more like Himself. I don’t have to try to work through this process on my own!

Thank You Jesus!

Father, thank You that Your Word tells us that love is so much more than a second hand emotion. That love is life … life in You! Help me Father to live out the life You have given me through Your love.

I love You Jesus.
In Your Name Pray,
Amen

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

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

Balcony People

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness
Hebrews 3:13

Bobby had a talk with Carson the other day about the words that come out of his mouth, towards his brother.  Carson has a tendency to tear down Chase.  Bobby explained that there are two types of people in the world.  Balcony people encourage and lift others up.  Basement people tear others down.  Putting a name to each type, gave him the opportunity to teach Carson a great life lesson.  Bobby didn’t make up these names, he read them in a book, years ago.  But the concept stuck with him and he used it to teach the boys the boys an important concept. 

All weekend Carson and Chase have been walking around calling each other balcony or basement people, depending on what the other is doing or saying.  They’ve gotten the message.  All Bobby has to do is look at Carson and say, “Balcony”, and he stops teasing his brother.

One of the great characters in the Bible, Barnabas, was the original balcony person.  When the disciples were trying to decide whether to trust Saul/Paul, after his recent conversion, they sent Barnabas to him.  Saul had been the worst of sinners.  He had actually had a part of crucifying Believers.  His past could have been a drastic hindrance to his usefulness in God’s Kingdom.  But Barnabas didn’t look at what Saul had done in the past.  He saw something in him and helped him develop his gifts for God.  Barnabas took a risk with Saul, and eventually gave him a thumbs up to the other disciples.  The rest as they say, is history.  Saul’s name changed to Paul and he led the gentiles and the rest of the world to faith in Jesus Christ, and wrote a good portion of the New Testament. (Acts 4,9,11,14)

Life can be very difficult. But one word of encouragement, a smile from a stranger, a hug and “I know you can do this, I’m so proud of you,”  makes all the difference in the world.

I don’t want to tear others down.  I don’t want to drain the life from them.  I want to lift them up.  I want to encourage them.  I want to be a balcony person.

Father, thank you for this example of a man who spent his life, encouraging, serving, and supporting others.  Teach me to be like Barnabas.  Let my life be an encouragement to others.  And Jesus, please give Carson the revelation that words can hurt, so that he stops hurting his brother.

I love you Jesus.
   In your name I pray,
   Amen

God’s Blessings Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

My Throwaway Tree

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

I wrote this story three years ago, but it’s still one of my favorites, and I wanted to share it with you today:

One day last week I realized it was getting close to Christmas and we still did not have a tree. I thought Bobby could run get one after dinner, but he ended up not feeling well, skipped dinner and opted for bed. I decided I could go get a tree and off Chase and I went. We didn’t want to spend much money, so we headed to Publix first, but there were no trees there. We decided to give Home Depot a try. As we pulled in, we saw that the tree lot was dark and empty.

Chase and I looked at each other and we were both disappointed. I suggested we get out and look around to see it there were any trees elsewhere. As we walked around the corner of the lot, there was a fellow in the back digging through a pile of discarded trees, looking for greenery.

He saw our disappointment and explained that all the trees were gone, except this pile of trash trees that were going to be thrown away. He reached down and pulled out a tree and asked us if we wanted it. Chase really wanted a tree and it was getting late and I was tired and I didn’t really feel like looking elsewhere, so I said, “Sure. We’ll take it home, stick it in some water and see what happens, If it still looks ratty tomorrow, we’ll go get another one.”

So home we went with our little throwaway tree. But it really wasn’t that little. It filled the entire back of my truck, making it at least 6 feet tall. When we got home, we woke Bobby up and asked him to help us with our tree. The poor guy wasn’t feeling well at all, but he saw our excitement and so he got up and trimmed off the bottom of the tree and put it into the tree stand. Then we filled the stand with sugar water and said, “Well, let’s see what happens.”

It was pretty ratty tatty … it had been lying in that discarded pile a while, I think. But we were hoping a little TLC might bring it back to life.

And you know what? It did! Yep, we got up the next day and went downstairs and that tree was green again and the branches had started to fall down into place and it really wasn’t bad looking at all. Just one little bare spot near the top.

And Bobby got home and he trimmed up the branches and carried it upstairs and put lights on it and the boys filled the branches with decorations. And we have a nice Christmas tree!

Did you ever feel like that tree? A throwaway person? Discarded by life? Discarded by others? I had reached a point in my life at one time where I didn’t really care if I lived or died. In fact, I had planned on actually killing myself, the life I lived just didn’t hold any attraction for me. Drugs and alcohol and guilt and shame were a vicious cycle, and I was tired of the treadmill and ready to call it quits.

But God had other plans for me. He picked me up out of that pile, watered me with His Word, and trimmed off all my dead limbs. And then let His light shine through all the brokenness.

When I look at our little Christmas tree today, there is no sign of that battered, discarded throwaway tree. I see a tree decorated with love. And when I look at my life, I don’t see a throwaway person, but rather a child of the King, fueled by His love!

Father, I know there are so many hurting people, feeling lost and discarded by the trials of life. Lord Jesus, I ask you to wrap them up in your love and bring peace to them in the midst of their challenges and Lord, let them know that You love them and that You hold the key to life, for them. And Father, thank you for not allowing me to stay in that place of abandonment and pain, but rather to be filled to the overflow, with your love and your peace.

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

God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today…
Will Affect Your Tomorrow.
http://www.alifedecision.org

Kindness Counts

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about kindness. It seems like there is not a lot of it out there in the world. Yesterday I was sitting at a red light and it changed and before I could even get started, the girl in the car behind me was honking at me and gesturing at me with her hands and really throwing a fit. I could not for the life of me figure out what I had done? I had not been daydreaming, I was paying attention, but obviously I was not moving fast enough for her and she was letting me know about it. I kept thinking how miserable she must be, to act like that.

I am trying to teach the boys to be kind, not only to each other, which is a real stretch at this point in their lives, but to others. Carson was telling me about a new boy in his class who started crying because he was shy. That was foreign to Carson, I don’t think he’s ever cried a day in his life at school, even when he was a baby in pre-school. He’s always loved being in school. But this little boy was new to the school, didn’t know anyone and was obviously feeling sad. I encouraged Carson to be kind to him, to be his friend.

Chase was telling me the other day about a little girl in his class who the other kids tease, because she is quite tall. I encouraged him to be kind to the girl, since he is a little on the small side, he understands that size isn’t important, it’s what’s inside that matters. He told me he likes it when she’s on his soccer team, because she can run fast!

Paul encourages us in Ephesians to be kind and compassionate to each other. In Galatians he tells us that kindness is one of the fruits of the spirit. The author of Proverbs tells us that a kindhearted woman (and I’m sure a man fits the description as well) gains respect. There are example after example of the kindness that Jesus showed to others, during his time on earth.

I know an act of kindness can make my day … let’s make someone’s day today!

Father, thank You for instilling this into my heart. It’s so easy to go along with the world. To be rude back to someone when they are rude to me. But Lord, I don’t want to be like the world. I want to be like You! Help me to be kind and compassionate, regardless of my own circumstances.

I love You Jesus!
In Your Name I pray,
Amen


God Bless You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

Hebrews 12:1,2

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
Hebrews 12:1,2

Today I watched a football game with Bobby. I don’t usually watch football, but I had been working all day at church and I was tired when I came home, so I sat down on the couch to rest.  And that’s when I saw this football player with Hebrews 12:1,2 written on his face.  Where most of the guys just put black under their eyes, he had black and white letters under his, referencing a verse from The Bible.  And during the game, the broadcasters actually read the verse, on National TV, in front of millions of fans.  How cool is that?

The player’s name is Tim Tebow.  If you live in Florida, you know he plays for the Florida Gators.  He is an incredible football player.  He was the first player to win the Heisman trophy as a sophomore.  He has been breaking records his entire career.  And that is wonderful.

But the best thing about Tim Tebow is that he loves Jesus and he’s not ashamed to share his faith with the world.  He wears his faith for all to see! 

In a world where sports heroes are really not role models, Tim Tebow is a breath of fresh air.

Tim Tebow … You ROCK!

Father, thank you for this young man who loves you and is not ashamed to share his faith in you.  I pray for you to continue to strengthen him and guide him as he goes on with his career.

I love you Jesus!
   In Your Name I Pray,
  Amen

God’s Blessing Upon You!

Love,
Joyce

The Choices You Make Today …
Will Affect Your Tomorrow!
http://www.alifedecision.org

 

Big Dreams

“For I know the plans I have for you, ” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11

Carson and Chase spend a lot of time talking about what they want to do when they grow up. Carson wants to be a Veterinarian and live on a farm in North Florida with a lake and raise Guinea Pigs and take care of hurting animals. That is a big dream.

Chase wants to work at Sea World and swim with the dolphins and the whales. He wants to own a preserve and have all sorts of animals there that he and his buddy, Josh, take care of. That is a big dream.

I used to have big dreams when I was a kid. Then I grew up … and I allowed life to steal my dreams.

A few years ago, my life turned around and I wrote a book about the hope and healing I had experienced through Jesus. Most authors dream of selling a million copies of their books. My book was never about the sales, but rather the lives helped.

I had an idea the other day … why couldn’t I GIVE AWAY A MILLION COPIES in E-Book Format? That’s a BIG DREAM … but I serve a BIG GOD!

So … here goes. I am dreaming big. Will you help me achieve my goal?

Please forward this email to your friends and family … let’s see how many lives God can affect through email … through the Internet … through a book about healing and hope!

chiliChili and Chocolate Cake is not your average inspirational book; and is as unique as the title. The author shares her message of forgiveness, restoration, and hope for hurting women– especially those who have experienced the loss of a child through abortion, miscarriage, or stillborn birth. This book is a shining testimony to the power of God to heal the broken heart. Author Joyce Schneider’s dramatic life and the miraculous change from a tortured young women to a great woman of God will encourage every reader. God even used the stablilty gained from preparing chili and chocolate cake to weave the thread of His grace throughout her troubled life. Get ready for an outpouring–from the barren days of the past, to springs of living waters; rivers that will refresh long after you close the pages of this book.

All the details are on my website:
http://www.alifedecision.org

Thank you for your support!

Father, thank you for dreams. Thank you for giving me the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone and make a difference … for you!

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

God’s Blessings To You!

Love,
Joyce

 

 

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