Friday, February 27, 2015

A Look at Confidence

Is confidence just a fleeting feeling
That only comes once in a while?
Is it an outward cheery countenance
With a sort-of pasted-on smile?

Or is it something strongly hoped for,
A worthwhile goal you want to reach?
Can it be adequately described
That you will demonstrate and teach?

Can confidence be learned or taught?
What does your experience say?
Evidence will point to faith in God,
You’ll be happy to trust and obey.

The real confidence is amazing,
It acknowledges our Maker, that’s true;
Knowing that He knows everything,
His Word declares His love for you.

by Elaine Hardt ©2015

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Secret

Valentine's Day was going to be a sad day, an embarrassing day for Kate.  Bad enough they had just moved from Iowa all the way to a strange town called Phoenix.  Bad enough they were staying in a run-down motel on Saguaro Lane.  Kate was the “new girl” at school.
     Oh, the secretary in the office was nice.  She smiled as mom made out the papers, smiled as she walked the two of them to Room 3.  And both women smiled when Kate was handed over to the teacher as twenty-five students stared at the newcomer.
     With a free lunch ticket in her hand promising a meal to help settle her nervous stomach Kate was grateful for a loud bell calling for recess.  She sat alone as the students filed out the door in straight and quiet lines.  Shortly, the teacher returned and began the routine of settling the new third grader into the classroom.  
     Later, on the walk home after school Kate was alone with her thoughts and her big, new, blue notebook that held The List.  The teacher had softly explained that Friday was the Valentine Party.  The Valentine box would be opened, cookies and punch provided by some mother volunteers.  The List was the names of all the girls and boys in Room 3.  
     “Of course, you have been so busy moving and getting settled, none of the children will be expecting a Valentine from you.  Don’t worry about that, at all,” was what Mrs. Johnson said. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Who is on YOUR Team? Whose Team Are YOU On?

A team can accomplish more than a single person.  Agree?  
Who is on YOUR team?  And, whose team are YOU on?
Some verses in the Bible in Exodus 17 give us a look at this principle and can give us some insight into our own situation today.
Moses is leading the people of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt to the promised land.  Now they are in a wilderness at a place called Rephidim. Some enemies called the Amalekites came against them and fought with Israel.  
Giving orders; Moses set Joshua as leader of the warriors.  Moses took Aaron and Hur to the top of the hill overlooking the battle. In verses 9 to 11 we read that Moses took the “rod of God in his hand.”  
When Moses held up his hand Israel prevailed against the enemies, but when his hand got tired and he lowered the rod, the Amalekites began to prevail. 
Here’s where his personal team up up there beside him sprang into action.  They got him a stone large enough to sit on, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands.  This was how he was able to hold up that rod until sundown, and the Israelites won the battle. 
Everyone there got to see an amazing victory. Later, thousands would hear about it; then later, millions would read about it. 
God told Moses to write this account for Joshua.  It was not to be forgotten.  And Moses built an altar as his response of worship to the LORD.
You’ll agree that those steps to success make sense.  Realize you have a problem, come up with a strategy.  Get some advice and help from your “team.”  Then do it.  Then analyze it so you and your team gain info that could come in handy some other time.  

Sunday, February 08, 2015

Beware This Sneaky Scam

His smile looked sincere, and his words sounded reasonable. Lois let her guard down. Her experience is a warning for us.  
Lois phoned me with the scary news of the scam.  “Thank God, I’m OK,” she assured me.  We both agreed that the Lord had protected her, but she urged me to tell others, “Beware.  You are not as safe as you might think.”
Yesterday the doorbell rang while she was in the kitchen.  A neatly dressed workman holding a clipboard stood at the front door. 
“Your neighbor is getting a new fence.  Let me show you where he wants to put it,” he gestured towards the alley behind her house.
This unexpected news was unsettling.  With a quick glance around Lois followed the man.  He lowered his voice, so she had to move closer to him.  At a steady pace he took her down the alley.  On and on he talked. It sort of made sense; however as he continued past her property to the neighbor’s place, going towards the next yard, Lois felt a slight twinge of worry. 
Then his cell phone rang and he stopped to answer.  “No, no.  I’ll get back with you a little later,” he responded to whoever was calling. 
Without going any farther he asked her, “Do you have any questions?” 
“I want to go back home and sit down. Do you have papers that explain this?”
Ignoring her request, he rambled on, repeating vague terms about her fence and the neighbor’s fence. When his cell phone rang again Lois started to walk back towards her house.  Getting closer she noticed the pickup truck across the street. 

Monday, February 02, 2015

The Purpose of a Problem

Determination makes you strong, 
Apathy makes you weak;
The problem brings a choice to you.

Reject confusion, depression!  
Stand tall inside your heart;
God gives the power to you.

Pray for wisdom, help, protection.  
Analyze, plan, then do;
God means for this to strengthen you.  

          By Elaine Hardt ©2009