Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: Stand, Even When You Do Not Understand

by Joshua Anderson
Life often brings trials and tragedies that we just do not understand. Too often, Christians facing such adversity lose their excitement for God, and their commitment to Christianity weakens. Many stop going to church or fellowship, stop praying, stop reading the Bible, and become negative about God and life in general.

The Bible is clear that things will happen that we do not understand, but we never abandon what we do understand in the face of what we don’t understand. God’s Word directs us to stand on what we know, no matter what is going on around us. Joshua Anderson takes us into the lives of some of the great people in the Bible who lived through difficult times, showing that despite great trials, we can stand for God, even when we do not understand everything about the situation.

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VideoPlay, Work Stuff

Job Diary – Video #1

Tuesday evening:

I just crashed. I was working along, catching up on emails and suddenly, I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. I had to lay down for an hour. I’m up now because I have to pick Jazz up from practice, but when I get back home, I’m going straight to bed. I think this new job thing is starting to catch up with me.

******

Jazz had an orthodontist appointment yesterday. He had been instructed to wear some rubber bands on two of his teeth for the past six months. I remember asking him, right after his last appointment, if he knew where he was supposed to wear those rubber bands.

“Yeah mom,” he said with a touch of impatience in his voice.

Well. Come to find out, he was wearing them on the wrong teeth. SO the kid now gets to wear rubber bands for an additional six weeks on the RIGHT teeth.

Good grief.

BUT. They told Kevin (because Kevin had to take him because he’s Mr. Mom now), that they’re thinking they should have a better idea of when they will come off by the next visit. Jazz will have had his braces for two years in November (which – how is that freaking possible?!?) so I imagine we’re getting close to having them taken off.

IF he will follow directions this time.

Grr.

******

Dude applied for a few more jobs today. Kevin has started looking at the applications that he’s submitting and yep, sure enough, he had been putting his availability as 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday.

hahahahahahaha … as IF.

So, we proceeded to give Dude a taste of reality and tell him that it’s HIGHLY UNLIKELY he’ll land a job working 9:00 to 5:00 his very first time. I mean, it could happen, but it’s not very likely. Most likely, he’ll have to take evenings and certainly work the weekends, at least, at first.

So he’s still looking.

******

Jazz’s band is performing at a football Friday night. I’m excited to go because the band will be in full uniform (complete with plumes) AND the color guard girls should be in their costumes, too. Which means we’ll get to see what they have in store for competitions this year.

And speaking of competitions …

Jazz’s first band competition is this Saturday. We’ll drive down to Tulsa, watch them perform at 3:30 in the afternoone and IF they make finals (they’re going to make finals because I’m going to remain optimistic), then we’ll stick around and see how they do in finals. Which means we won’t get back home until about 3:00 in the morning.

Guess what we’re doing on Sunday?

SLEEPING.

Prompt Fiction, Saturday Stuff

Such a Killjoy

“We are so busted.’

“We’re not gonna get caught. Unless you give us away with your ‘Guilty as charged’ look. Think about clouds – anything. Wipe that expression off your face.”

“I can’t help it. I’ve never used a fake ID and snuck into a bar before.’

“Shh! Why don’t you broadcast that a little louder? I don’t think the cops heard you.”

“This is so lame. I can’t believe you talked me into this.”

“I can’t believe I brought you. Do you ever loosen up?”

“I’m a fun person. I just get a little uptight when my BFF makes me do something wacked.”

“Oh my God, that guy is so hot.”

“FOCUS”

“I’m focu– oh my God, did you see that girl’s shoes?”

“My parents are not gonna let me out of their sight after tonight.”

“Relax! Sheesh. Such a killjoy.”

Are you seriously ordering another martini?? We are so dead.”

“You have money, right?”

.

.

.

*************************

Write up to 150 words, fact or fiction….

This is a themed writing meme hosted by Jenny Matlock. The goal is to write something that does not exceed 150 words (not including said prompt). The prompt is in italics.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Feeling Anxious? God Can Help

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

If you would like to read my views on religion and how we got started with the ministry, you can read this.

Let’s get started:

Stress, tension, anxiety and worry are pretty much household words. In fact, there are over-the-counter drugs sold just to treat stress-related symptoms (i.e., Excedrin for that tension headache; Alka-Seltzer for indigestion due to aggravation, etc.). Medicines might be able to treat symptoms, but, as always, God has the solution to the problem.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him (God) because He cares for you

“Anxiety” is the Greek word merimna, which means a dividing or distracting of the mind. It’s mental overload. Have you ever been there–when the cares of this world just consume your thinking? From bills to test scores to regrets to being offended to health issues to time schedules–the list goes on and on.

Now, God’s Word says to cast those thoughts that are causing us to become distracted over to Him. You fishermen types know what it means to cast. For the rest of us, it means to fling, to throw with a sudden motion. The idea is to get rid of the distractions quickly. Let God take care of what distracts us so we can focus on living His Word.

Unfruitful thinking

The gospel of Matthew emphasizes the reason we should fling over our worries to God.

Matthew 13:22
The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the Word, but the worries (merimna) of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.

Take note of the words “worries,” “choke,” and “unfruitful.” When we spend our time worrying or distracted over life’s “issues,” we allow these thoughts to crowd out and choke God’s Word from our minds. The end result—no fruit.

In Luke 10 there is an example of one woman who was pretty stressed out, and how Jesus responded to her. Verses 38-40 paint the picture of Martha, a woman who opened her home to Jesus and his disciples (a pretty good size crowd). As she is busy preparing for her guests, her sister, Mary, is sitting at our Lord’s feet, listening to Him. This catches Martha’s attention, giving her one more thing to fuss over. She is aggravated to the point that as far as I can tell she interrupted Jesus to complain, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me” (Yikes—she’s telling Jesus what to do!).

I can just hear the tenderness in Jesus’ voice as He responded: “Martha, Martha, you are worried (merimna) and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her” (vv. 41 and 42).

It is significant that the word “better” can literally be translated, “the good part,” and “part” is the root word for merimna. When the mind is distracted, it’s divided into “parts.” Mary chose the one thing to set her mind to that was good, that was needed. Now this is kind of hard for some of us women. It’s pretty normal for us to think that the food preparations and other comforts of home for our guests are more needed, but that’s not what Jesus was saying. At that moment in time, sitting at his is feet and listening was the one good choice, and Martha could have had that pleasure also.

Fruitful thinking

When I am in the process of mentally torturing myself with worry, regrets, and complaints, I have found that it is hard to just stop. I can fling my “issues” over to my Father all day long, but unless I replace the “bare spots” with other thoughts, “weeds” keep springing up. It is interesting to note that in Philippians 4:6-9 we are told to not be anxious about anything, but to pray. Then we are told what to think: thoughts that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, whatever is excellent and praiseworthy. Verse 9 takes it a step further. We are not only to think, but to act on what we think.

To become an expert in thinking wholesome, fruitful thoughts takes practice, practice, practice. It’s just like disciplining ourselves to learn a dance routine, a musical instrument, or a program on the computer. To become adept at thinking godly thoughts takes noticing your thought processes and comparing them to The Truth, God’s Word. For example, when I start to get concerned about our finances, I can request help in prayer and then not allow my thoughts to continue to hash over our finances and the “what ifs.” Instead, I can rehearse (remember it takes practice) how God promises to care for me. I also can look for something noble to do, like encourage someone else, or use my mental capacities to pray for others. How about sinking my heart into praising God and my Lord Jesus Christ? Actually there is so much more to think about then just our problems!

So when you find yourself thinking and rethinking thoughts that distract you from what’s true, stop. Cast them over to your heavenly Father. Replace those thoughts with the “excellent and praiseworthy.” This takes some real conscious effort, but the end result is peace. When you give your distractions to God, you will experience the peace He has promised. It is peace that stands guard over your heart and mind, peace that allows for good fruit to flourish in your life.

If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about God’s wonderful message, please visit the Truth or Tradition website. You can also keep track of the ministry through their Facebook page, their YouTube Channel, or follow them on Twitter.

Thanks for reading.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you. God granted you the gift of free will – take it or leave it).

More from Write From Karen

Life-condensed

My Nephew – The Film Student

One of my nephews took a chance and went to New Zealand for a year to try and work on the new “Hobbit” movie. Though he didn’t land a part as an “extra”, he WAS able to help out with the production crew. He hasn’t told us all the details yet, but I’m looking forward to hearing all about his adventures.

I’m also looking forward to watching more of his documentary.

Aren’t you?

Friday Fun

Encouraging Words

encouraging-words

I wish I had branded this quote into my brain when the boys were growing up because I did WAY too much nagging/yelling/berating and not NEARLY enough listening.

Shh. Hear that? It’s your child talking to you.

Can you hear him/her?

(BTW, I didn’t draw that Hitler mustache on Dude. He came in from playing and looked like this. I thought it was so funny that I had to take a picture. I don’t Hitler is funny, I thought him coming with a dirt mustache that looked like Hitler was funny. Just setting the facts straight because you KNOW there are those few people out there that will make nothing into something).

Book Corner

Fall Reading Challenge ’11

Ready to read? As usual, I’m trying to read more … I go through spurts where I will read two books a week and then nothing for two months. It’s terribly frustrating to ME because I want to read more, I enjoy reading, always have, but I just can’t seem to tear myself away from the computer.

I complain that the boys spend too much time on their computers, and yet, here I am setting a STELLAR example. Since I’ve vowed to be a good example for my boys, I’m going to really try and read more so they will look back on this time period and say, “Man, mom sure read a lot,” as opposed to, “Mom, you sure goofed off on the computer a lot.”

At any rate, my average reading rate is two books per month, (and when I say average, I mean average in the loosest since of the word), so I’ll keep it realistic and list six/seven books I plan on reading before December 21st. However, since I’m working full time now AND November is National Novel Writing Month and I’d like to attempt to reach that 50,000 word line, AND I’m still maintaining NINE school websites after work, AND we’ll be traveling out of town every Saturday in October for band competitions, AND we have three birthdays in November AND the normal holiday rush to get things done, I honestly don’t know how much time I’m going to have to read. But I’ll do my best.

IMG_1024

In addition, these books will be for sale in my Amazon book store after I read them, if you’re interested.

Happy reading!

More from Write From Karen

Work Stuff

Feeling Completely Out of My Element

I’m pretty much brain dead.

These past two days have been a blur. I have stuffed so much information into my head that it feels like the top is going to blow off at any moment.

My job sounds so easy – I schedule patients for procedures. But I can assure you, it is NOT as easy as it sounds. I’m also responsible for pre-certifying procedures and making sure that patients are getting what they need BEFORE their next appointment.

Did I mention I’m scheduling patients for TEN doctors?!? Actually, me and three other girls schedule patients for ten doctors and all ten doctors don’t work on the same day – there are only about three or four that work at the facility in one day. All of the doctors can’t work at the clinic every day, there simply isn’t room for all of them and their patients.

I am feeling overwhelmed. And that’s putting it mildly. I’m brand new to the medical field therefore I know SQUAT. ZILCH. NOTHING. I’m reading pamphlets now to familiarize myself with the procedures and terminology. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, each individual procedure is unique AND THEN there are exceptions to rules.

Lots and lots of exceptions.

I honestly felt like crying today. I felt so out of my element. Everyone is so, SO nice to me and I really hope I don’t let them down. I’m going to try very hard to absorb all of this as quickly as I can – I just wish I was already at the point where I felt comfortable with the procedures. It’s so disorienting being thrown into the middle of so much unknown.

I bought a funky binder tonight, along with sheet protectors and dividers. All of the doctors do things differently, so I’m going to make a section for each of them and keep notes so when it’s their time to work in the clinic, I can pull my notes out and familiarize myself with the way they want things. In addition to molding my work habits to each individual doctor, I (and the other schedulers) often get emails requesting we do a certain thing when a certain situation comes up. So I’ll be printing those emails out and putting those in my binder as well.

Yesterday, I sat with the front desk girls and then sat with another gal to see how the whole process gets started and how they check patients in. Though I felt useless, it was really helpful to see how the whole process all fits together.

Today, I sat with my supervisor and she trained me on the program I’ll be using to schedule patients. I didn’t get to play around with it today, but hopefully, I’ll be able to click around and get familiar with it tomorrow. It’s one thing to have someone show you what to do, but quite another when you get to actually DO it.

I was signing onto my account and setting up my Outlook yesterday when I got an unexpected email sent directly to me. It was from a gal I used to work with at Wal-Mart! She had seen my picture on the company Intranet (they post a picture of their new hires every week) and sent me an email. Talk about a welcome distraction! It really made me feel good that she took the time to say hello. It also made me feel just a little less lonely, too.

I wish I could go into details about the type of work I’m doing and my impressions of the people I’m working with, but of course, I can’t. I do think I have a feel for the other girls’ personalities though. I’ll be honest, it’s a challenge to work with SO MANY different women, but I think I can manage. I plan on remaining neutral, keeping my mouth shut, my opinions to myself , a smile on my face and to be as friendly as I can be to everyone, regardless of what type of feedback I get from them.

That’s really all you can do when you’re surrounded by females. Women can be so cruel to each other and I’m not really sure why, but I’m determined not to go down that road. I’d like to A. keep my job and B. work for this company for many, many years.

Oh. I also bought myself t-shirts and long johns. The clinic allows us to wear t-shirts under our scrubs because it gets so cold and I wore a white t-shirt today. I nearly froze to death this afternoon. In essence, I’m wearing paper-thin pants and my legs and feet were pretty much ice when I left work today. I’m thinking long johns will really come in handy when the temperature drops.

Some gals came over from another facility today to talk to us and they took me back to their building and gave me a tour. When I make appointments for patients, I’m sending them over to this building, so it was really helpful to see what they did. They were super friendly (everyone really has been SO NICE to me!) and I really hope I don’t let them down whenever I start getting into the nitty gritty of things.

It’s really fun to wear different colored scrubs every day. So far, we’ve worn the teal and the lavender scrubs. Tomorrow we’ll wear the wine colored ones. I really felt like I was going to work in my pajamas wearing the lavender ones today. Even though they aren’t very warm, they are super comfortable to wear. I can see why so many women gain weight working in health care – when you wear scrubs, they aren’t tight, or restrict you, so it’s easy to let that pooch go.

I intend to buy a girdle to wear under my scrubs. No really! That way, it will restrict me and remind me that HEY, I have a figure under there (sort of) and if I sit around and eat Doritos all day, I’ll lose it. So yeah – girdle is on the shopping list.

It also doesn’t help when you have a candy dish, meant for patients, staring you in the face, either.

Overall, it’s been a wild, crazy and confusing two days at the clinic. I’m trying hard to retain everything that I’ve been learning and it’s my goal to completely wow them with my awesome multi-task abilities.

Oh. That’s something else. It is REALLY HARD to concentrate on any one thing. There is so much going on and so many people talking, that I’m finding myself paying more attention to what is going on around me than on what I’m supposed to be focused on. I’m really going to have to work hard to train myself to block all of those outside distractions out whenever I start talking to patients either in front of me, or on the phone. The other girls seem to do that quite well but I’m easily distracted and concentrating on the task in front of me is going to be hard, I think.

I’m glad tomorrow is Friday. This week has really stretched out and I’m ready to come down from my stress high, at least for a few days.

Abundant Life

Audio Teaching: Our Guarantee of Salvation

by John Schoenheit
For centuries, a debate has raged in Christendom as to whether or not a Christian can lose his salvation. In this teaching, John Schoenheit examines scriptures from the Old Testament, Gospels, and the Epistles to the Christian Church, showing that from the moment one is born again of God’s spirit, he has the absolute guarantee of salvation. There is no way a Christian can become “unsaved.” John thoroughly covers the subject by examining verses concerning such things as the new birth, spiritual seed, the new nature, being a new creation, being sealed by God, being a citizen of heaven, being a part of the Body of Christ, and more.

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