Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last Day of 30 Days of Character Blog

Well, I certainly did not keep up with this one as well as I did the others! Maybe it was that whole character thing. But I did want to conclude our character building journey.

I thought an appropriate ending would be PERSEVERANCE.......
Here is one of the best examples I have ever read about....

Abraham Lincoln & Perseverance
In 1831, Abraham Lincoln failed in a business venture.

In 1832, Lincoln was defeated as a candidate for the state legislature.

In 1833, Lincoln failed once again in another business venture.

In 1835, Lincoln's fiancee died, shattering him.

In 1836, Lincoln suffered a nervous breakdown.

In 1843, Lincoln was defeated as a candidate for the U.S. Congress.

In 1848, Lincoln once again was defeated as a candidate for the U.S. Congress.

In 1855, Lincoln was defeated as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

In 1856, Lincoln was defeated as a candidate for U.S. Vice President.

In 1859, Lincoln once again was defeated as a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

In 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected the 16th President of the United States of America.

So what is our take away from this example?
Keep these tips in mind as you strengthen your perseverance:
  • Don't Give Up. When you have an ultimate goal, you owe it to yourself to completely follow through. There are going to be plenty of bumps in the road. Don’t let any of these bumps bring you down. Always be seeking new ways of approaching problems.
  • Keep Positive. When things have become overwhelmingly negative for you, seek out positive things in your life.
  • Take Action. Do whatever you can to inspire yourself to take bold actions toward your goal. Fight the urge to procrastinate or settle for less.
  • Ask for Help. Be wise enough to know when a situation warrants help from others. You don’t need to take every single thing into your own hands. Instead, choose to follow advice from the people you trust.
  • Know Yourself. When you know where you’re going and the steps you need to take to get there, that’s half the battle. That’s why you need to take the proper amount of time for self-reflection.
  • Change your habits. Do everything in your power to put a stop to bad habits. If there are certain behaviors you’ve identified that are keeping you from achieving your goals, you need to get rid of them. This could be simply negative thinking or you might be fighting procrastination.
  • Step By Step. Take one step at a time. Create small doable goals then when you reach those goals set the next step goals.
Gal 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (KJV)

Friday, March 26, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Courage

Well, I'm back, and the whole jury thing was actually a great experience except that after 5 hours of listening to the lawyers arguments and coming up with my conclusion I was told that I was the alternate juror and could leave. I was devastated! I had invested 2 days of my life into this process and they didn't let me finish it! Oh Well, I guess there is some lesson in there somewhere but I haven't figured it out yet.

So on to our topic of Courage. Well, if we are going to work on building courage in our life we must first look at the opposite - which is fear. Fear is a terrible thing because it will stop us in so many ways - it hinders our creativity, our productivity and even our relationships. It can cause health problems both physically and mentally. Fear also has some companions and they are worry, anxiety and lying.

Let's take a look at each one and the effect it has on us. Today we will just focus on worry because this is a BIG one.

The definition of worry is to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret.

Worry creates what I can "circle thinking" it is a thinking process that goes around the same fear circle again and again with no resolution. For example you worry about a future event, all the things that could happen, magnify anything you have ever heard or experienced about this event in a negative way and imagine the worse case scenario, when you get to the conclusion you start all over again.

The French philosopher Mantaigne said, "My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened." Corrie ten Boom wrote, " Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows, it empties today of strength."

We talked about how Beth Moore handed worry in our last post but here is another tool to help you if you struggle in the area, as we all do.

The next time you are worry about an event in the future, ask yourself these 4 questions:

1. What event am I worrying about?
2. What's the worst that could happen? If the worst happened they what would happen?
3 What are the chances, according to the law of average, that what I'm worried about will ever occur (do a google search :)
4. What can I do about it?

Another way to do this is:
Take an event that you were very worried about and right down all the things that you were worried were going to happen - then write down what actually happened - keep a log of this and over time you will see the things we worry about almost never happen.

"Do do not worry about tomorrow, it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings." Matthew 6:34

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jury duty

I'm doing my civic duty today and sitting on jury trial so I'm sending this short blog post via my phone.

I will continue the topic of courage tomorrow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 22, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Courage

1.the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

2.have the courage of one's convictions, to act in accordance with one's beliefs, esp. in spite of criticism.

Today we will talk about Courage - Notice it doesn't say courage is the absence of fear but it withstands fear. Joyce Meyer had a saying that I think relates well, "Do it afraid." That is basically what courage is - it is doing it afraid - whatever "it" is.

One of the greatest biblical examples we have of courage is Queen Esther. Esther was just a ordinary woman, an orphan raised by her uncle who because of her beauty became queen. But Esther had much more than outer beauty - she also had great inward Character. She had Courage. There comes a time in the story of Esther that she is called upon to stand up for her people. Because she was queen her uncle asked her to go before the king and save her people from destruction. Esther knew that she might die by going before the king without being summoned (Esther 4:11). She initially resisted because of fear but then she took these three steps which we can also apply to most of our "fearful" situations:

1. She used her fear to find her faith - it is during times of pain, difficulty and fear that we draw closest to God. We begin to realize during these times what our faith is made of. Is it real? Is it solid? or was it just something we talked about but didn't really live. Difficult times brings the answer to these questions to the surface.

2. She prepared herself and asked for help - Esther used a pause of three days to think through and pray about her plan , asked others to pray for her and with her. This is something we all need to do during trying times. Sometimes we need to just get alone with God and pray and come up with a plan. We also need to ask those who are close to us to pray for us and with us.

3. She changed her focus from concern to herself to concern for others - First Esther was worried about herself being destroyed then she began to worry more about her people being destroyed. As we are enduring hard times it is easy to get "tunnel vision" about our problem but as we begin to look beyond ourselves we can take great courage in helping others during our times of greatest need.

Beth Moore had a great way of looking at fear. She told of a fear that was gripping her, it was tormenting her and finally God spoke to her heart and said, "Beth, What if it happens. What will you do." Beth replied, "I will be devastated! I will hide, I will cry, I will feel like my life is over." Then God spoke to her heart again and said," Then what" she replied," Well, I will tell people how bad it is, I will grieve, I will feel like I could never minister again." so He said, " Then what?" so she said, "Well, eventually I would start praying and reading your word and get back up and start moving forward because I know that you will help me and give me the strength." And then Beth said she realized what she said and that is was all true. Even if her worst fear came about, and usually they don't she would have the Courage eventually to get back up and keep going.

When you feel fearful, ask yourself what is at its source? Walk through Beth Moore's scenario of fear and see if your outcome isn't the same.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Friday, March 19, 2010

30 Days Character Development - PATIENCE

Last post we talked about PATIENCE with situations and circumstances in our lives but today I'm going talk about PATIENCE with the people in our lives. For some of us this is a much harder assignment than the other.

What is the root of impatience with others? Usually, we become impatient when someone disagrees with us, when we don't get our way, when we are too tired or hungry or because we are oversensitive.

So knowing what the root of impatience is, which is mostly a lot about us, maybe a little pride and self-absorption or lack of self-control (not eating or sleeping like we should) we can once again realize that being PATIENT with people is like most character traits we have discussed, it is up to us - it is a choice - a habit - a discipline. Don't you just hate it!!

One thing to note is the people that irritate us the most will be people we don't understand. Either we don't understand why they are acting like they are or we don't understand their type of temperament.

So How Can You Become a More PATIENT Person?

1. As with most things it begins as changing our thought process, instead of becoming gripped with tension and impatience at something someone is doing or saying to you - change your thoughts, think about the possibility that this person is going through or has gone through something really hard. We live in a difficult world at a difficult time and we have no idea what people are dealing with right now. Even people we think we know well many times have overwhelming problems in their lives that they may be ashamed to talk about even to those closest to give people a break, give them some grace.

2. Try to think from a different perspective, we usually think what people say means the same thing as we mean when we say something. You can't know others motives until they reveal them and you can't know what they mean until they clarify them. Ask clarifying questions and then really listen.

3. On your own, you must decide to be patient. You alone, must make the decision, and can not expect anyone to give you patience. This can be the hardest part, so you can help yourself by writing a note on your mirror, on your fridge, somewhere you will see it every day, that can simply say 'Be patient.' A simple reminder such as this can make a big change in your life.

Ask yourself which ones of the below statements you need to work on the most.

When I feel impatient do I try to remember that I probably don't know the person's motives?
When I feel impatient do I try to assume that I probably don't know what the person means?
When I feel impatient do I seek first to understand?
When I feel impatient do I ask clarifying questions?
When I feel impatient do I give the person a break?
When I feel impatient do I listen before I speak?
When I feel impatient do I remember God accepts me so I need to accept others?
When I feel impatient do I ignore small insults?

A person's wisdom yields patience; it is to one's glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Patience

I have been dreading this one. But in building and developing Godly Character this one is a must! Patience is usually defined in two ways, either waiting under difficult circumstances and the other is being patient with people.

Patience is:
1 – The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2 – An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3 – Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

We all have been in a place in life where we had to "wait" through the circumstances. Especially when those circumstances are difficult and you don't understand them. Some examples may be, waiting to get out of a difficult job situation, a dream that is not unfolding in your life, an illness that isn't going away, a marriage that isn't improving or if it is it's not as fast as you want it to, children that are in a difficult stage of life and you want life to hurry to get past it.

Some examples you can find in the bible of waiting through circumstances were
  • Joseph waited in a pit and the in a prison for a total of some 12 years before life began to work out for him.
  • Sarah and Abraham waited for a baby for many many years
  • Ruth waited for a husband
  • David waited to be a king
  • Moses waited in the wilderness for years
Well, one of the things that are happening to us if we let it during these times of waiting is we are developing PATIENCE. Times of developing patience are usually not fun. We as people in general tend to complain, get confused and lose faith when we have to wait for things for too long.

The truth of the matter is if you are in a waiting period for something, no matter what it may be, complaining, worrying, becoming anger and frustrated are not going to hurry the process. In fact, it may make it slower.

So how can we learn to be more patient and continue to enjoy life during the wait:
1 – Develop realistic expectations
2 – Realize that setbacks are only temporary
3 – Employ a problem solving attitude instead of choosing to be a victim
4 – Avoid bitterness
5 – Have faith that you can overcome a difficult situation, allow it to be a time of deeper relationship with God
6 – Be aware of triggers that cause you to become impatient. If it’s something you can change, take steps to change it. If not, then adjust your attitude and mindset accordingly.
7- Use this time as a time to grow as a person both inside and out-God is more concerned about the character that is building while you wait then about hurrying the process.

There is a saying I heard somewhere and it is so true, "You are going to wait anyway so you might as well be happy while you wait." and develop the character of patience while your at it.

"God makes everything happen at the right time." Ecclesiastes 3:1 "I am the Lord; no one who waits for my help will be disappointed." Isaiah 49:23

Monday, March 15, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Self-Control

As was probably noticed if you read this blog, I took the weekend off and have decided that is OK!:)
I can get a little OCD about my 30 day blogs but in light of good character development I felt I need to give myself a little break. Weekends are always very busy so I decided to keep my blog posts for weekdays.

I am so proud of my sweet niece, Beverly, for embracing these character development blogs. If you haven't seen her blog, check it out at

So we are continuing to look at "Self-Control"

We tend to loose our "Self-Control" when we are stressed so today we will look at how to reduce stress in your life so that self-control will be easier to obtain.

Stress is basically TOO MUCH - too many things to do, to many people to help, to many problems to solve and not keeping boundaries in your life. The American Psychological Association conducted a stress survey and gave us the top five stressors in life:
  1. Sick family member
  2. Monday
  3. Your own health
  4. Children
  5. Work
So how do we reduce stress in our lives -
  1. Take an inventory of your life every 6 month and ask yourself: What needs to be eliminated? Are there areas of your life that you have over committed to. What is sapping your energy and can it be changed? It takes self-control to not over commit.
  2. Are you setting good boundaries or do you feel responsible for everything and everybody in your life? Another name for this is "control." Do you need to let some things go that you are trying to control? or possibly delegate them to someone else? It takes self-control to not be over controlling
  3. Do you need to rest? Are you putting aside some time to rest, reflect, sleep and exercise or in general take care of yourself? It takes self-control to slow down.
  4. Take some time for self-examination. What areas do you need to work on ( some anger issues, anxiety issues, just speaking before thinking?) Take a look at yourself and if there are areas to work on start now and if you are really serious get an accountability partner to help you. It takes self-control to develop discipline in our lives. It takes self-control to admit we have areas in our lives that need to be worked on.
  5. Take a look at your spiritual disciplines. Are you developing good spiritual habits in your life? Do you have a regular time of study, prayer and worship? It takes self-control to have create spiritual disciplines in your life
Most people are so busy knocking themselves our trying to do everything they think they should do, they never get around to what they want to do. Anonymous

1 Peter 4:1-2
Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.

Friday, March 12, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Self-Control

Moving on to our next Character Trait I was torn between "self-control" and "patience" but chose to go with self-control next. The reason went with self-control first is that is what you have to have first to develop patience.

Knowing God leads to Self-Control. Self-Control leads to patient endurance and patient endurance leads to godliness. 2 Peter 1:6

Lack of Self-Control comes in many forms. You may have it in one area of your life but not in another. Many of us when thinking of someone without self-control would immediately think of a person that can not control their emotions such as anger, saying something hurtful before you think or displaying out of control emotions. But sometimes we don't think of overspending, overeating, not exercising, chronic lateness (ouch!), saying no to commitments you shouldn't commit to, spending too much time on the phone, computer or even gossiping as a lack of self - control but they are.

There are so many things that we can't control in life, such as other peoples behavior, life circumstances, the economy, job situations, and the world around us but we can control. A Self-Controlled person is able to let go of those uncontrollable and unchangeable things in their life and focus on what is controllable and what is changeable, which is US....and our own attitudes.

A Self-Controlled person takes ownership for what they can control with God's strength.
Here are some ways that healthy God control helps you set the right boundaries in your life:
  • I can't change others, but I can change myself
  • I can't control certain situations, but I can control my attitude.
  • I can't look to others to keep my controls in place, I have to desire to control myself.
  • I can depend on others to "fix me" ; I am responsible for my own growth.
  • Just because it's fun doesn't mean its right
  • Just because you want it doesn't mean you should get it'
  • It's healthy to be in control, It's not healthy to be controlling
  • It is healthy to change and improve yourself. It is not healthy to dominate, manipulate or micromanage others.
Each day I am going to list possible areas that may indicate a lack of self - control. Today we will focus on our:
Personal Life: Take note of all that apply:
Negative Self Talk, Overspending, Perfectionism, Unbalanced Diet, Overindulgence in any personal area of life.
Relationship with others:
Compromise of values to be accepted, people pleaser, Need to fix, change, or improve others, Need to dominate, manipulate or micromanage others, Over dependence on others.
Anger that hurts others, criticism, Gossip, Judgmental spirit, Lying, negativity, Uncontrolled words, Unreasonable fears, Withholding praise.

Like a city whose walls are broken through is a person who lacks self-control
Proverbs 25:28

Thursday, March 11, 2010

30 Days of Character Development -Contentment

Yesterday I shared my experience of discontentment and today today I want to focus on how to learn the secret of contentment in your life.

First you have to realize that discontentment is part of who we are as humans. As I said in my last post, Eve had everything but still wanted the one thing she could not have. She did not have cultural influences or even friends who had more but she did have the same enemy that we have. And that enemy is always whispering into our thoughts that we are missing out on something or something is being withheld from us that we deserve. Those whispers turn into thoughts that turn into feelings of discontentment

In Philippians 4:12 Paul says:

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want."

Notice two things about this scripture;
1. Paul had to LEARN to be content
2 Contentment is a secret

First, we see that scripture tells us that contentment is a Learned Behavior it does not come naturally for any of us and second we are told that the key to contentment is a secret that we must discover for ourselves.

Paul was actually in prison handcuffed to a prison guard during the time he wrote this.

My personal journey to the secret of contentment started with:

First, I "learned" to put my confidence in Jesus Christ to strengthen me to endure every situation I encounter in life. This was something I had to learn and it came through trials and difficulties I experienced. When you go through a very difficult time in life and you come to the other side of it seeing that God's strength and hand was on you the whole way, you come out of it with a whole new perspective. You don't take things for granted like you used to, you feel content with the simple things in life because you realize how quickly even those can be gone. Bottom line, it comes down to a change in your thought process and perspective in life and mostly WHO are you trusting with your circumstances, You or God.

Second, I "learned" that I'm responsible for my personal joy, and that my joy has to be in Him—not in people or in circumstances. We can not look for our husbands, our friends, our family, our house, our kids, or our jobs to bring us contentment and joy (these two are partners). Contentment and Joy are leaned behaviors, they are choices we make. Bottom line, it comes down to letting go of expectations that something other than God and you will bring contentment into your life .

Third, I "learned" that the grass is not always greener on the other side. I have learned to be content in the moment not waiting for the "It will be better when.." I would be happy if...."
"When this situation is better then I will be content", "If I had the life that.....has." Bottom line, it comes down to stop waiting for a particular status or thing or person or achievement before you "learn" contentment. You can have it right now!

Fourth, I "learned" to be thankful in the present, today, this hour, this minute. Bottom line, be thankful for what we have (Eph 5:20) for our circumstances (1 Thess. 5:16-18) and all we have to do during our day. (Col. 3:17)

Fifth, I "learned" to get involved in helping others. God has given us varied gifts in this area and the way I help may be entirely different than you but with whatever talent or gift God has given you. But whatever that gift is use it to help those God brings into our lives. Bottom line, DO GOOD.

Some Questions to consider as you are Learning to be Content:
1. What is the underlying need you have that causes you to compare? (need for approval, affirmation, credit or respect)
2. What is the underlying issue you have that causes you to be insecure? (low-self esteem, need for acceptance)
3. What is the underlying reason you have to want what others have? (fear, ungrateful, anger, life's not fair)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

30 Day of Character Development - Contentment

We have talked about Contentment before but it is a must when developing Character.

Have you ever been totally content with something in your life....until you saw what someone else had and suddenly that little feeling of discontentment began to spring up. I can come on us so quickly and catch us unaware. I do think that some of us are more prone to discontentment than others....and I am one of those who are. :) But, I am getting much better and that is always the goal. I like to think my character is growing but maybe it's just getting older but I definitely do not struggle with this issue as much as I used to. Not to say it can not creep up on me occasionally when I least expect it.

I have always had a tendency to have friends that have nicer homes than I have. They are the best people and friends in the world and never acted as though there was any difference in their lifestyle than mine. The problem was not them, it was me. I believe God has used these wonderful people in my life to teach me some much needed "contentment" lessons. You have to understand, their homes are in the best of communities, big with beautiful pools in their backyards. I have a wonderful house but compared (notice I said "compare") to their homes mine looked little and unkept. For more times than I want to admit I would not invite them to my house because I felt embarrassed that my house was not as nice as theirs. Please understand these dear friends NEVER made me feel this way.....I just did, based on my own lack of confidence, pride and discontentment. I at times made my poor hubby miserable with all my complaining and discontentment.

Well, obviously I was not content and I was not happy at that time in my life. I had bought into the lie that I must HAVE things to be content. Those THINGS are different for everyone for me it was the perfect house for others it may be the perfect body or clothes or even perfect children and if you don't have that you are in a constant state of discontentment.

I guess I was in good company (or maybe not so good) as Eve was discontent and that didn't work well for her, and King Solomon, who had everything was discontent and we know how things ended for him and even some angels were not content and that was REALLY bad for them.

Tomorrow I will share how I found contentment in my life and I really have - very seldom do I ever feel that twinge of discontentment hit me anymore and when I do I recognize it very quickly.

I will end with the real evidence of how I knew I had conquered the house discontentment thing.
My friends and I were going to get together one week and when we were discussing where to meet I blurted out, " Why don't you come to my house" We all agreed and I was so excited that they were coming, and even more excited that I was not at all worried about it. I had the grand babies over the day before and had a blow up pool on the porch, it was still there when they arrived - I took them over to the window by the porch and asked them if they had brought their swim suits to lay by the pool while we talked. We all laughed and I was absolutely so blessed to have the opportunity to have host our little time together at my house.

I'll leave with these thoughts today

Contentment is a state of satisfaction that is INDEPENDENT of circumstances.

An English Minister named Henry Read (1662-1714) said this prayer of thanksgiving after he was robbed of his wallet:

I thank thee first because I was never robbed before;
second, because although they took my wallet they did not take my life
third, because it although they took my all, it was not much
and fourth because it was I who was robbed, and not I who robbed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

30 Days of Character Development - Humility

Well, I couldn't keep up with the 30 day thing this time. As I stated in last post, I was at a conference in Jacksonville Saturday and just couldn't keep up. On Sunday hubby and I just stopped by St. Augustine on our way home and enjoyed some down time. We needed it!! :)

So today I want to complete the Humility part of our character development.

Humility is an essential ingredient of the Christian life.
  • It takes humility to truly worship God. Worship is the ultimate act of declaring that God is God and we are not.
  • A humble person has a healthy self-esteem.
  • It takes humility to be truly honest. Pride tells lies, exaggerates, hides, pretends, and misrepresents, with the purpose of covering up our failures. Humility tells the truth even when it reveal something about us we would rather not have known
  • It takes humility to obey. Obedience requires giving up my way.
  • It takes humility to be teachable. Humble people are lifelong learners who do not disregard the input of others, even in areas they feel knowledgeable.
  • It takes humility to serve. Serving requires us to set aside our prestige, position, and rights in order to serve others.
  • It takes humility to wait. Waiting means allowing God to direct us instead of pushing our agenda.
  • A humble person is a broken person. A person who exudes humility is usually someone who has had an experience that has broken their pride. Failure and loss has a way of stripping away pride. At the point we feel most useless, that's when God can use us most.
I can really relate to that last one. I have some situations in my life that have brought me to that place of brokenness. I have not arrived at that place of complete humility that I would like to be at but I am much closer than I would have been if it wasn't for the feelings of failure and loss that I have experienced. When we go through those difficult times in life it is always a choice of how we will allow it to affect us. We can either allow it to cripple us, become bitter, become even more prideful to cover us our failure or we can embrace humility and allow God to use it and us for His Glory and really that is just where He wants us.

Tomorrow we will start on our next Character Building trait: Contentment
(this one may hurt)

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I'm just going to write a quick post because I am exhausted....but it is a good exhausted. As I shared in yesterdays blog I was blessed to be able to be one of the speakers at a Woman's Conference in Jacksonville. It was for my dear friend Charlyn. Charlyn and her husband are pastors of Clay Community Church.

I am just beyond blessed by the women of this church. They are some of the most genuine, precious ladies I have ever met and I was so honored to be part of this conference. It was a wonderful day, God was so present in all that was done and I know lives have been changed today. I was also so blessed to be with my sweet friends - Cathy and Kathy. We all met as a result of Life Coaching and have been encouraging and praying for each other ever since.

My Topic was "Lesson's I Learned in the Storm" and I was once again reminded of how God never wastes a hurt and always turns what Satan meant for evil into good.

Well, just thought I would give an update but mostly give a big word of appreciation to Charlyn and the women of Clay Community Church. Thank you ladies for all the love!

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us

Friday, March 5, 2010


I will not be posting my humility blog today as I heading to Jacksonville to speak at a womans conference at my dear friend Charlyns church.

I will do my next post on Sunday.

My topic is "Lessons Learned in the Storm". Please keep this in your prayers, that the ladies
at the conference wll be given Hope and Encouragent for whatever storms are hitting their lives.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 4 - of 30 Days of Character Development - Humility

I took and Pride Test and as promised here is my result:
47 - You are learning to be more and more humble. Way to go! I felt good with that score. I knew I was not going to get the first one (genuine humility) and I was hoping I wouldn't get the next one. I really do think this is accurate because as I was looking at the different statements I could see how much I have changed in many areas. Five years ago my score would have been much higher. I'm not happy about that but I am happy that I am seeing change.

So as we continue our week of looking at Humility, how do we get there? If we are struggling with Pride of any kind how do we change that around. Here are some suggestions but really as with any change we bring into our life.......We have to first recognize it as a problem
  • We then have to be willing to do the "hard work" of change
  • We then have to go to God for strength and a humble heart, asking for His help
  • We then have to be very aware of our behavior - asking an accountability person to help us, we all have blind spots we can not see. We have to ask ourselves hard questions everyday as we encounter different situations.
  • We then can start the process of change, and it is a process!
The most important aspect of working on humility is to grow closer to God, spend more time concentrating on Him, set your sights on Him, invest your time in His Word and what it says about how we are to view ourselves and others. The Bible is full of examples and lessons on humility.

Is it "All about you"? Decide on a daily basic to make it about God and others

Is it " Poor me?" Learn who you are in Christ and stop the lies about your lack of value

Is it "Judgmental, critical" you?" Stop trying to change everyone else and work on yourself. Believe me we have more than enough to do changing ourselves without worrying about everyone else. We are not God!

Is it "Don't tell me what to do!"you. - See people as God's instrument and stop resisting their input into your life. Some of what they say may be right.

Philippians 2:3 "When you do things, do not let selfishness or pride be your guide. Instead be humble and give more honor to others than to yourselves"

Question for the Day: In what ways can you give more honor to others on a daily basis?

Tomorrow we will talk about the eight core values of humility.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 3 - of 30 Days of Character Deveopment - Humility

We have looked at what Humility is and isn't, we have looked at pride and how destructive it is but now it is time to get real and honest with ourselves. Today's blog will present to you a "Pride Test" If you really want to see how your doing in the area this is a great tool. I have taken this test from "Character Makeover" by Katie Brazelton, a great book to read if you are really serious about working on your character.

I am going to disclose my results tomorrow, and I promise to be honest. :)

Pride Test — But Only for the Strong of Heart! This test is a rigorous self-examination to detect pride in your life. Circle the number corresponding to how frequently you think you have exhibited each type of prideful attitude within the last several weeks. 1 is never, 2 is rarely, 3 is sometimes and 4 is frequently

Warning: Take only if you are having a good day!

1 2 3 4 Asserting my rights: I am concerned about getting what I deserve.

1 2 3 4 Bragging: I boast about successes (mine or my kids’) without crediting God.

1 2 3 4 Entitlement: I deserve special treatment because of my condition or position.

1 2 3 4 Exaggerating: I embellish the truth to get attention.

1 2 3 4 Name dropping: Knowing important people makes me feel important.

1 2 3 4 Self-centeredness: I am blind to the needs of others. “It’s all about me.

1 2 3 4 ”Showing off: I call attention to my possessions, abilities, or sacrifices.

1 2 3 4 Vain: I am obsessed with the areas where I am better than others.

1 2 3 4 False humility: I point out my shortcomings, looking for reassurance.

1 2 3 4 Overly independent: I can’t receive help or gifts. That would be awkward or shameful!

1 2 3 4 Overworking: I work to exhaustion; it makes me feel worthy.

1 2 3 4 Overserving: I serve beyond the call of duty, looking for affirmation.

1 2 3 4 Perfectionism: I try to be perfect; it makes me feel acceptable.

1 2 3 4 Woe is me: I often have a catastrophe to lament, looking for pity.

1 2 3 4 Works: I have to do more to deserve God’s approval.

1 2 3 4 Worthlessness: I rely on the reassurance of others to bolster myself-esteem.

1 2 3 4 Argumentative: I choose to find what I disagree with and engage in a quarrel.

1 2 3 4 Controlling: I manage the actions of others to make sure they do things my way.

1 2 3 4 Critical spirit: I look for ways others don’t meet my standards and point them out.

1 2 3 4 Intolerance: I won’t accommodate opinions different than my own.

1 2 3 4 Irritability: I get annoyed easily and lash out at those who bother me.

1 2 3 4 Judgmentalism: I assume the worst or exhibit a condemnatory attitude.

1 2 3 4 Put-downs: I intentionally belittle others with cutting or snubbing remarks.

1 2 3 4 Self-righteousness: I justify poor treatment of others by my holiness.

1 2 3 4 Pouting: If I don’t get my way, I clam up.

1 2 3 4 Ignoring correction: I’m never wrong (plus I’m hard of hearing!).

1 2 3 4 Isolated: I reject help from others, preferring to go it alone.

1 2 3 4 Refusal to change: This is just who I am, so accept me.

1 2 3 4 Rigidity: I can’t be flexible or adjust my plans.

1 2 3 4 Stubborn: I am obstinate.Unsubmissive: I won’t receive leadership. “You’re not the boss
of me.

1 2 3 4 ”Unteachability: I am closed to input or guidance. I have my act together.

TOTAL SCORE:______________

Scoring: 1–33 You are a model of genuine humility.
34– 64 You are learning to be more and more humble. Way to go!
65– 96 Thank you for your honesty. That’s the first step to humility!
97 –128 Hmm! You have some work to do. Keep reading!
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Proverbs 16:18

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 2- of 30 Days of Character Development - humility

I will warn you right now that this will not be a pleasant blog, but it necessary if we are to truly understand and walk with humility. Today we will look at PRIDE and how destructive it can be. We will do some self-examination to see if this is an area that needs work.

Many of us have seen and possibly even experienced the affects of Pride. It has destroyed ministries, marriages, friendships and on and on. In fact, I think I would be correct in saying that just about anything that comes to ruin and destruction in our life will find it's root in pride at some level.

Pride takes on many different faces:
1. "It's all about me" face - When we exalt ourselves we aren't exalting God. Luke 11:43
2. The "Poor me" face - worthlessness is a deceptive form of Pride. Matt. 6:16
3. The "Judgmental Spirit" face - being a critical, irritable, self-righteous person. Matt 7: 1-5
4. The "I'm my own boss" face - Not being teachable, Never admitting your wrong, not being willing to change. Hosea 7:10

Beth Moore is her Breaking Free bible study says it best:
  • Pride covers our hearts - God wants our hearts
  • Pride refuses to look back - God want to free us from our past
  • Pride doesn't like to be told what to do - God wants us to obey His Word
  • Pride thinks he is free enough - God wants to free us completely
  • Pride says secrets are nobodies business - God want to bring us out of the dark
  • Pride denies there is a problem - God wants to help us with our problems
  • Pride won't admit to weakness - We are made strong in Him.
We have to view Pride as an enemy and Humility as our friend.

Proverbs 8:13 " To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
Proverbs 16:5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.
James 4:6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Isaiah 66:2 Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?" declares the LORD. "This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 1 - of 30 Days of Character Development -Humility

"Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.
Rather, in humbly value others above yourselves."
Philippians 2:3

Character Development is our theme for the next 30 days. We are going to work on the four most difficult areas of character, one week at a time. I figured if we are doing this we may as well start with the hard ones first. So here we go......

First lets look at some well know humble people. One that comes to mind is Cinderella, a sweet young servant girl that in the end won the prince. Then there is George Bailey from, "It's a Wonderful Life" Everyone loves him. In "Chariots of Fire" there was Eric Linddell, a missionary turned Olympian who earns respected by honoring God above his medals. It is the humble, unselfish people, who endear themselves to us both in fiction and real life.

The bible speaks over and over about humility, being a humble person and how God honors that.

So how do we find the path to true humility? Humility is found by gaining a right perspective. Humility is a natural result of having an accurate view of who God is and who we are in relation to Him. You can and should still have good self-worth, esteem and personal value with humility. Right thinking about yourself is realistic thinking - a big picture of your strengths, weaknesses, talents, negative habits, and real worth.

Thinking your more wonderful that you are is pride, and thinking you are worse than you are is false humility. It's all self - focused. Humility is balanced in the middle with a right view of who you are and who you are not and who God is. When your eyes are on God you can't help but be humble.

Of all the character traits we will work on, humility is the foundational character to all the others. You can't build or develop the others without this one. Humility is the starting place for deeper character development. It takes a strong self image to perform truly humble acts of service.

Here's something I will leave you to ponder on today:
"It is always the secure who are humble"
G.K Chesterton

Tomorrow we will look at "Pride" as that has to be dealt with to develop true humility.

Matthew 23:12 - For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.