Sweets for the Soul

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How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

When I was young, my Dad travelled extensively throughout Florida. At his homecoming, Dad surprised us with peppermints collected in restaurants during his travels. Dad’s return was all the sweeter because he brought mints with him. What a delicious memory.

When I think of Jesus, I borrow the words from the wonderful hymn “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus.” In days of uncertainty with all of life’s trials and tribulations, it is worth remembering that we have a Savior who sweetens the pot and makes our life better. Not perfect but better.

I’m grateful for my earthly Father who was sweeter than words can express but I’m tremendously grateful for Jesus Christ who will never leave me and who promises so much more.

Sweet…

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

From my Dad’s mouth…

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Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Philippines 4:11

I did not grow up poor but I do remember some months where funds were “tight” and we had to watch our pennies. I especially remember meals of toast and soupy rice. That is rice cooked in milk with butter and sugar garnished by a side of toast. For the record, it was delicious.

My father was an optimist. He would look at our meal and he would say “I wonder what the poor people are eating tonight?” Dad would say this in times of plenty and times of want. He knew that we would have days of blessings and days not so blessed.

Today, I sit here and feel sorry for myself over life events. It’s easy to do. The days where you just want to throw in the towel and give up.

But, my father’s words reminded me that I am blessed beyond measure and should have a heart filled with gratitude.

I don’t think these words came to me by accident, I believe “someone” wants me to remember his sage advice. I ask God to forgive me for wanting more.

I know He hears me.

I know my Dad is smiling.

Kind words matter…

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This has been an exhausting week in the real estate world. Three closings and more contracts coming in. I’m not complaining – I love my job. But, it is a lot of work and I have been a wee bit tired.

However, today I was reminded that it’s not all about the money (not that I have ever really thought so) because it is really about positive feedback on a job well done and knowing you have done your best.

Today, I received a lovely compliment from a very unexpected source and it thrilled me to the core. It is a vivid reminder that we should compliment people daily and thank them for even the smallest of things. It can make such a huge difference in someone’s life.

I know my day has blossomed into something special and I’m walking on air just from a few kind words.

What a lovely feeling.

Kind words are like honey–sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24

Memorial Day

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I rarely go on a rant about anything but there is one thing bothering me today. There is no such thing as a HAPPY Memorial Day.

I dislike when I see people tweet, facebook or post “happy” greetings on Memorial Day. It’s not a happy day for those who have lost loved ones in service to their country. It is quite the reverse.

But having said that…I appreciate Memorial Day. I appreciate people remembering. The loss of a precious family member is a daily battle with sorrow for some and loving memories are what remains.

Please remember…but remember with reverence, respect and gratitude. We shouldn’t have to lose so many to save us all. Having said that, I am certain our heavenly Father knows this feeling all too well.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Regrets? I have a few

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I’m somewhat surprised when I hear someone say they have no regrets. I find that hard to believe.

There is only one person that I know who is perfect and we just celebrated His resurrection yesterday. But for the rest of us…we could use some work.

As for me, I have a lot of regrets. Too many to mention. I have been known to sit through Sunday service, say all my prayers of forgiveness with a genuine and contrite heart, march up for communion and then on the way back to my pew my mind wanders to something that I instantly regret. I can go south in a hot minute.

I once thought if I was the sort of person that believed in tattoos, I would put a permanent bodily marking of Romans 3:23 in a place where the sun doesn’t shine. That verse is courtesy of my sweet Baptist upbringing. Romans 3:23 rings true for my life. Some days I just fall a little short of the glory of God. Maybe a lot.

I have learned to live with regret but I try to learn from my mistakes as well. Even more important, I believe in a God that forgives my sins. In fact, it is my desire to try to please Him by decreasing my personal number of regrets earned in a single day.

Regrets? I have a few. But I also have a loving Savior who reminds me daily that He holds my hand as we walk through the highs and lows of this life together. Loving Jesus and choosing to follow Him is the one thing I will never regret.

How great is that?

Jesus Paid It All…All To Him I Owe.

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My Dad was always thinking ahead. He apologized on more than one occasion that one day I would come in to wake him and he would be gone and walking with Jesus. While I told him not to stress out about this, I also reminded him that no one knows the time, date or way you are going to cross from this life into eternity.

No one knows the day they will die…except Jesus.

Jesus knew.

Jesus knew the end from the beginning. Like all of us…technically we are born to die. But he knew his death was imminent and was going to be difficult, very difficult.

I cannot even begin to imagine the sheer weight of this knowledge. I can’t imagine how Jesus felt carrying the sins of the world on His shoulders. It is just beyond my ability to comprehend.

Tonight, I will ponder these things and I will prayerfully watch for one hour at my church as part of Maundy Thursday services. One hour. It’s not enough to thank Him for the sacrifice He made for you and for me.

But then again, nothing I do could thank Him enough.

Jesus paid it all,

All to Him I owe;

Sin had left a crimson stain,

He washed it white as snow.

What you do with your life matters…

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In my profession of real estate, I am typically highly competitive as I try to serve buyers and sellers in Central Florida.

Recently, I presented a great proposal for a new listing and should have easily been given this home to sell. However, the Sellers chose someone else. In the past, I would have been very critical of myself and disappointed at losing a listing. But something has changed in me.

I realize that I can’t remember now how many listings I have lost and how many homes I have sold in the last 25 years. I know I have sold more than I lost. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter, because I have never been hungry, I’ve never been homeless and my needs have been met. I don’t think I am special, I just firmly believe in the One that holds my future.

What I do with my life matters…what you do with your life matters too. It’s not all about your job; it is about the statement you make when your job goes well or when things go poorly. I believe that in all times you hold your head high and you praise Jesus. How you react to great things and great adversity are a direct reflection of your faith.

Jobs will come and go but Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When I want to worry about something, I’ll worry about pleasing God.

God has been good to me in the best of times and the worst of times. In my book, that beats anything of this world. I’m blessed indeed.