Sunday Takeaways 2-28-21

I wanted to finish up the fruits of the Spirit as I can never remember any sermons preached on each of the fruits as Pastor Mike has.

Let’s pick up with fruit of goodness. Pastor Mike defined it as courage to do the right thing even though it is the hard thing. To speak the truth in love even though I may be criticized for it. King Hezekiah from 2 Chronicles 29:2; 31:20 was used as an example. King Hezekiah lived in a time when the children of Israel had forgotten God and worshipped other gods. King Hezekiah destroyed all those other worship places and called the people back to God. That couldn’t have been easy but he chose to do what is right in the face of much poppy.

Faithfulness. There wasn’t a definition for faithfulness, but a call to be faithful as God is faithful to us. Does your spiritual relationship dry up when things are good? Do you bail on God when things are bad? Does he bail on us? Faithfulness also involves being faithful to one another. That others can count on us when things aren’t easy. Acts 2:42 references that when it talks about the early church being faithful to one another and in prayer.

All of the other fruits of the spirit are dependent on the fruit of self-control. If we can’t control ourselves will we be faithful? Good? Loving? patient?

Gentleness is the refusal to use your power to hurt anyone. That’s not just physical. It also includes not being critical or trying to ridicule others. Being careful to not be mean. An unwillingness to act in a way that cuts others.

As a final challenge for the fruits of the spirit Pastor Mike challenged us to examine ourselves. Where are we lacking in any of these fruits? How can we do better? How can the Spirit help us? We are not intended to fight the battle against our fleshly ways and desires in our own strength. When you accept Christ as your Savior the Holy Spirit enters our lives as a Helper. When people tell you to listen to that still, small voice that’s the Spirit helping you live a life that honors God.

How do You Thieves?

Thieves Foaming Hand Soap-a family fave

How do you Thieves? When I was first hearing about Young Living I was a working mom going back to school with kids in junior high and high school. We were busy! We had no time to be sick. I also had a Type 1 Diabetic/Celiac kiddo who couldn’t take most over the counter medicines for colds and such. The ones he could take he wouldn’t because he didn’t like the taste.

So when I heard there was an oil blend called Thieves that could help support our immune systems and could be used to help fight off colds I knew I needed that! Then once I became a customer and joined our education groups I found out about all the hidden toxins in our home that might be contributing to asthma issues and guess what? There was a Thieves for that! As we switched out products in our home the respiratory issues gradually disappeared.

I’m so grateful to learn about all the products with Young Living that have changed our life and that’s why I keep sharing about them with you! What if no one had talked about them in my presence and shared their experiences? I might still be clueless! That would be sad.

Hope

Itty bitty bits of green poking up!

You’ve probably seen the memes that remind us we’re closing in on a year of the two weeks to flatten the curve. A year that has many of us shaking our heads. Political upheaval, censorship like we haven’t seen in our time, media craziness, and more. Many have been home with their children for a whole year. Newborns that have rarely seen anyone besides a family member are turning a year. Many are struggling to find hope. Some have given up hope and others say there is no hope.

But this? This green poking out of the mulch? This was buried in two feet of snow a coupe of weeks ago. Now the snow is gone, the air is warmer and the flower under there has awakened. That’s one place you find hope.

Our church had a baptism today and baptized five adults who chose to make that profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Almost a year ago we didn’t know when or if we’d have in person church again. I find hope in that. Even in the darkest of times Jesus never stops working. To quote a popular song, even when we don’t see him working he never stops.

Look to Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, for hope. Shut off the noise. The alarmist posts, the shouting people, the talking heads, the lies, the fear and bury yourself in Jesus. Worship music, church, prayer and most especially God’s Word. I recommend the Psalms. That’s where I found myself in May of last year and that’s where I found hope.

Sunday Takeaways 2-21-21

Hello! I finally attended church again after missing three weeks. It was good to be back. I will say I was very tired after church and took a nap that afternoon though. That still happens sometimes and I’m told that can last a while so I’m being kind to myself.

We started a new series in Sunday School focused on how to share our faith with others in a good way. I’m sure we’ve all experienced someone sharing their faith in a bad way and it’s not comfortable. The series is actually going to cover several tips that can help anyone in any situation. The video series is called “Tactics” and is on the RightNow media app if you are interested.

Sunday’s lesson reminded us that we all can’t be the harvester. Most of us will only ever be gardeners. Those that plant the seed of faith in people’s life. The speaker likes to say that he’s putting a rock in their shoe, something that will make them want to investigate when he has said. I’m really looking forward to it as I have opportunities for conversations often but I freeze as soon as someone says something negative. This week’s tactic is asking questions and I see how just saying, “Tell me more” or “That’s interesting, why do you think that?” can help me learn more about the other person and not jump to conclusions.

For church Pastor Mike has been going through the Fruit of the Spirit that are listed in Galatians 5:22 and this week’s fruit was patience and kindness. Patience is the ability to hold one’s temper or a reflection that we can’t always control our circumstances but we can control our response. Kindness is a helpfulness to others prompted by having experienced God’s love to us.

A couple of points I wrote down:

“Not all fruit comes at the same time. Fruit of the Spirit is a selfless love that comes for others.”

“Church is the locker room – where we develop strategies for how to live life. We draw out the X’s and O’s in church and then go out in the world and live.” I thought that was a very good analogy for church and why people should attend. Would players go out on the field and play without knowing some basic plays? Strategy? Even pickup games have strategy that comes from playing the game before. Everyone has been taught basic offensive and defensive plays and can recognize and execute what the other players are doing. Have you ever been a novice and tried to join a pick up game? How’d that go?

Just like we have to understand the basic set up of the game, plays, and rules we must also have this same understanding to be able to live life according to God’s will. How can we gain this basic understanding? By attending church.

COVID Ups and Downs

Last Sunday I got a horrible headache-thought it was a rebound headache from my PMS migraine on Saturday. Had horrible chills Sunday night and woke up not feeling great on Monday. I was supposed to have hernia surgery on Tuesday so I already had a pre op C test scheduled. I was still shocked to have it come back positive.

Today marks day 7 at home. I’m isolating downstairs or in our bedroom. I guess you would call my symptoms mild. Some body aches and fever and a stuffed up nose. The biggest thing for me is the absolute exhaustion. I was feeling pretty good on Tuesday and I way overdid it. Lesson learned. I’m told day 5-7 can be bad and I did get a headache tonight so maybe?

One thing I’ve been told with this is there isn’t steady improvement. You don’t gradually feel better, you have good days and bad days. You have good moments and bad moments. Good mornings and bad afternoons. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. I’m trying to conserve energy when I feel good but also keep moving enough I don’t lose all my strength. In the bad moments I’m learning to give myself grace.

Mentally, I’m doing good. I’m a homebody that loves being a couch potato so that’s not a hardship for me. I’m also a major introvert so being by myself is grand. I know this is not the case for everyone and if you’re feeling good but still isolating or quarantined that’s gotta be worse. I don’t feel like doing much so I’m not chomping at the bit to get going. Once in a while I’ll feel good enough to do something and I try to do it but it doesn’t last long.

I’m grateful my lungs have not been affected so far-I hear that can happen in these later days too. I’m a side sleeper by nature so I’m sure that helps. I’ve also been putting all the respiratory oils in the diffuser and on my rib cage. We are parents of kids who had asthma and several rounds with nebulizers. We know what to listen for and what to do. So far, so good.

This is just an update on life and what’s happening. Also a look at COVID through a normal person’s eyes.

Sunday Takeaways 1-17-21

My only Sunday takeaway for today is that I strongly dislike meetings. I’m what some people would call an “empath.” My counselor tells me I’m a “perceiver.” Whatever you call it, I’m very sensitive to what is going on around me. I feel the emotions in the room, not only feel them but absorb them. I’m aware of everything happening in the room. Gatherings with lots of people can be very draining for me. Somedays going to church and Sunday school is a lot for me. Add in the annual meeting which is the longest member meeting of the year and I’m so done.

Meetings themselves are fraught with tension as you have differing opinions, thoughts and ideas all in one room. Deciding budget and how the church runs for the year with everyone having a say can be a lot. Luckily, this year’s did not hold any hot button topics and we were able to run through everything pretty quickly, still. I did not get home until 2:15. Ufda.

These meetings are important though for the church to run not only financially but also spiritually. We not only decided on the church’s budget for the year but also who was going to serve in what positions for the next few years. Our sermon this morning was on the importance of church membership and how membership is not something invented to make people do jobs in the church but is actually biblical. Even the first church had to delegate responsibilities and decide on how to disperse funds.

I was not brought up in a church that focused on membership too much so I’ve always underestimated the importance of it. (We have had the experience of being asked when we were going to become members so we could teach Sunday School.) Membership is a lot like baptism, it declares your faith. When we become believers, we are immediately part of the body of Christ. We need to take our place in a local church and become a part of the local body. As pastor is very fond of saying, we need to be a part of the local body to care ad serve one another as Christ commanded us to do.

So, it’s important for me to attend these meetings, especially as I am in a leadership position of the church, i think I’m just feeling meeting burn out. We have started a building committee at the library to look at finishing the lower level of the building. It’s on the 2nd Monday night of the month, regular library board meetings are the 3rd Monday of the month and then I have church leadership meeting on the 4th Monday of the month. Ufda. But in our town, Monday night is just kind of meeting night so it’s what we do.

Sunset through snowy trees

Orthoease

I saw on the news today that there are winter storm watches all the way across the United States, from California to Maine. It’s almost a connected line, it’s crazy! Supposed to be like that for a while.

In eastern Nebraska we received the snowfall of the decade this week. Lots of snow moving is happening everywhere. To help those tired, worn out muscles we love to use Orthoease. This massage oil is super convenient to use and comes with it’s own pump.

Orthoease has oils like Wintergreen, Peppermint, Juniper and Marjoram in a vegetable oil base. Orthoease comes in the Raindrop Kit and can also be used on insect bites and dermatitis. It’s great to use on any discomfort before. No weird colors to stain your pillows or sheets.

Want to know how to open a Young Living account? Shoot me a message! Let’s chat!

Januaritis

Do you have a month that’s hard for you? I used to think it was just me but as I’ve started sharing this with others I’ve found others have their month too!

For me, it’s January. January gets me down. I used to think it was because of the insane basketball schedule in January but then we had a couple of years with no basketball and I still struggled. It’s like I go stir crazy. I just gotta get out of town. Even if we traveled extensively for Christmas.

This year, we were proactive and planned a trip in January. Last year, we planned a trip for April thinking it would give me something to look forward to – that DID NOT work. I still went bonkers. Must leave town in January.

We went up the road a few hours to Sioux Falls, SD. I’d heard it was cute town (even if it’s the largest city in South Dakota) and I’d always wanted to see the Falls. From pictures, I knew the Falls were pretty in winter and summer so the season didn’t matter so much. We booked a hotel downtown on the river and it was amazing. If you go to Sioux Falls, book a place downtown you won’t regret it. You are within walking distance of Falls Park and Phillips Avenue which has great shopping and food. They are also working on revitalizing downtown so there were other shops and food in the area. We didn’t even get into our car until Saturday night.

I’m getting ahead of myself. We arrived about 5:00 on Friday, we had intended to be there earlier, but we left later than planned, had to stop and find me snowpants and then it was time for my Telehealth appointment with my counselor so we had to stop for that. We had tickets for snow tubing at Great Bear Ski so we checked into our hotel, changed clothes and headed out. Great Bear is only a 10-15 minute drive from downtown. I’ll be honest, I almost chickened out when I saw how steep the hill was and how high. I saw the ski school hill and thought it was a kiddie hill and really planned on staying there all night! But, alas, one hill. With four different runs so up the conveyor we went. No wearing yourself out climbing the hill – which is good because we were the oldest people on that hill! My husband loved it and I did go down more than once but it wasn’t for me. Too fast, too steep. I felt like I was terrifying myself every time I went down. After a couple of hours we headed back to town. We grabbed food at the Pita Pit and went back to the room and watched “Speed” with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves. Haven’t watched that in forever!

Saturday we slept in, ate motel breakfast in our room and I did my workout and got ready. It began snowing in the night and that continued off and on throughout the day but the temperature wasn’t horrible so we layered up and headed out to the Falls. They were gorgeous. We walked all around the park for a couple of hours. Our plan of eating and warming up at the Fall’s Overlook Cafe was thwarted as they were closed for the season so we looped around the park and ended up back on Phillip’s Avenue at the Phillips Avenue Diner. Highly recommend! I had the best latte ever there as well as tomato bisque soup and a 1/2 roast beef sandwich. Philip went with the Bananas Foster and a Burger Melt. Yum! We then walked the rest of Phillips Avenue to look at the sculptures and shops. When we got back to the room we were pretty cold and sleepy so we took a nap, read, watched some TV, ordered pizza in for supper, and visited the hot tub.

I could not not see the Falls at night so I put my winter gear over my pajamas and we drove back down to the Falls – I’m so glad we did! The whole park was still decorated for Christmas and the Falls were lit too. We walked a little and then drove around to look at the lights and listen to Christmas songs. Perfect end to the day.

I’ve never been a fan of motel coffee so while I was getting ready the next morning Philip went back to the Diner to pick up a latte for me and a milkshake for him. We should’ve had brunch there as I didn’t know a very long drive to look at pickups was in my future. 🙂 We made it home in time to send our youngest off to his last semester in college and unpack. I feel like I got so relaxed I’m having a hard time getting back into work mode but it was a perfect weekend. Exactly what I needed to cure my Januaryitis.

Warm and Cozy Marjoram

I’ve been craving some Marjoram lately but I thought we were out-then I found a full 15 ml bottle today! 🎉 To me, Marjoram has this warm, cozy, comforting scent. I love diffusing it by itself or with a tree oil like Pine. If I don’t have Marjoram I do find that Clove is pretty comparable for me. Marjoram was known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and I’d have to agree with that assessment. I also recently found it that it’s good for helping release emotional trauma.

Marjoram also has muscle soothing properties and we’ve used it, along with Panaway and Lemongrass, in our family “Sprains & Tears” blend for years. #momofboys I was known for having this blend on hand at all track meets. Marjoram is also found in the Raindrop Kit from Young Living which is a specialized kit built for relaxing and soothing your muscles.

Marjoram is so much more than an herb to cook with and smells nothing like the dried herb you find in the grocery store. You can also purchase Marjoram Vitality from Young Living and use it in your favorite dishes. Have you tried Marjoram yet?

Sunday Takeaways 1-10-21

The Sunday School lesson today from Ray Vanderlan took place on the Sea of Galilee on a ship! Very cool. The theme being that God allows struggles in our life. Many people cannot understand that but even the Bible says that struggling produces perseverance, character and hope. (Romans 5:3-5)

There are lessons to be learned in struggles. One of those being remember to call out to God in our struggles. In this story, Jesus was about to pass the disciples by. He was going to leave them fighting against the storm. (He’d already let them battle it for 6-8 hours.) Mark says he was about to pass them by when they called out to him. Okay, wait, I just read that passage again and the NIV says they cried out because they thought he was a ghost-that totally changes the point here….but continuing on…

Are you like me? Sometimes you get so involved in solving the problem, figuring out the solution, that we forget to stop and pray? Invite God into the problem? Ask him for his help and providence? When we invite God in, he is with us. Doesn’t mean that the problem is immediately solved like in this story. It might just mean he gets in the boat with us and calms the storms within us.

Our sermon today was from our son’s church where we attended. We left Sunday School a little early and thanks to the service times being a little later than ours we made it in time and were able to attend with our son, Aaron, and our niece, Sarah. They are in the book of Jonah.

Have you ever thought about the sailors on the ship with Jonah as he was running from God’s assignment? I hadn’t. I love when pastors can take a story you’ve heard probably a hundred times and pull something new from it.

The sailors came to a belief in God through Jonah’s rebellion. They recognized Him as the true God because He was the one who showed Himself. After throwing Jonah over into the sea, they worshipped God. There were several points the pastor made here and I didn’t get them all but I’m sure you can check out Hillcrest E Free in Seward and find a recording.

Jonah missed out on an opportunity to share the gospel with the sailors because he was in rebellion. Jonah was in rebellion because he did not see people as God did. God extends mercy to who he wants to. Obedient acts of faith lead to God’s salvation. We as God’s people are here to declare God’s mercy to the people – we are all rebels in need of God’s mercy.

We were challenged at the end to check our own perspective on lost people. Seek to be a positive part of God’s plan, not an obstacle He has to clear out of the way. Do not attempt to come up with a better plan than God’s and decide to fear the Lord and worship him and follow in faith filled obedience no matter if the plan makes sense to us or not.

I found it interesting today that both lessons were in the sea, on boats and in some way referenced God being the calm in the storm. After the first full week of January in the United States I think we needed that reminder. No matter what is happening around us-God can calm our hearts and he can calm the storm.

From this summer when I borrowed my good friend Jacki’s beach.